Maya Deren

film 5 of 5

The Very Eye of Night

Film Review by Dean Duncan Mar 28, 2015

Great title! There are many felicities here: the dancers themselves, their clear confidence, the obvious comprehensiveness of their technique. There are a number of striking shots and angles. The last choreographed coupling and their last departure are very beautiful (quite reminiscent of the last shot in Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast).

We’ve been very open and sympathetic to avant garde expressions. We need alternatives! But that doesn’t mean the alternatives aren’t also subject to certain critical/analytical considerations. What on earth is going on here? And who has the means or the interest to bother finding out? The star fields, the floating figures, the flurry of cross-mythological names at the beginning (beautiful calligraphy, by the way): I’m pretty sure it’s not just me. Sometimes Deren’s references and vocabulary are personal to the point of hermetic impenetrability.