Dec 072020

The Maya Deren Collection release from Kino Classics and Re:Voir has eight films from the prolific independent filmmaker and includes new 2K restorations alongside a good selection of bonus features.



The Maya Deren Collection


Genre(s): Special Interest
Kino Lorber | NR – 208 min. – $34.95 | February 25, 2020

Date Published: 12/07/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Director: Maya Deren
Writer(s): Various
Cast: Various

Features: Audio Commentaries, Outtakes
Slip Cover: No
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono)
Video: 1080p/Full Frame 1.33
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 48.12 GB
Total Bitrate: 31.66 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A



Maya Deren is one of the most important American experimental filmmakers of all time. Along with being a filmmaker, Deren was a choreographer, dancer, film theorist, poet, lecturer and photographer, and she brings all of these disciplines together in her dreamlike and ecstatic films. Her most famous is Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), co-directed with Alexander Hammid, which depicts a surrealist slippage in reality as a woman’s home becomes a shifting landscape of beauty and menace. At Land (1944) is another pscyhogeographical journey where Deren washes up on a beach and encounters a multiplicity of selves.

Also included are four 1940s dance films (A Study in Choreography for Camera, Ritual in Transfigured Time, Meditation on Violence, and The Very Eye of Night) in which, as Deren wrote, “I have attempted to place a dancer in limitless, cinemato-graphic space.” She and Hammid put felines through a similarly intimate process in The Private Life of a Cat (1946), which foresaw the future of cat videos. A different exploration of movement occurs in Divine Horseman (1947-1954, 1977), a remarkable hour-long montage of footage that Deren shot of Haitian Voodoo ceremonies. The history of avant-garde film is unthinkable without her.



This release comes with an essay booklet and the cover art is reversible.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Divine Horsemen, Meditation on Violence and Ritual by film scholar Moira Jean Sullivan
  • At Land, Meshes of the Afternoon, and The Very Eye of Night by film scholar Thomas Beard

Audio Outtakes (13:07/13:22) from the original soundtrack recording sessions with Teiji Ito on Meshes of the Afternoon and The Very Eye of Night.

Invocation: Maya Deren (55:26) – 1987 documentary about the director and artist, narrated by Helen Mirren.


VIDEO – 4.5/5, AUDIO – 3.5/5

Each of the 8 movies have received new 2K restorations by Kino Classics and Re: Voir, all presented in their original 1.33 full frame aspect ratio and 1080p high-definition transfers culled from the printing negatives with the exceptions of Divine Horsemen and The Private Life of a Cat (1977 assembly and 16mm print respectively). For the most part, and these black and white features, do show some film damage (according to the notes, there was some frame-by-frame clean-up, however detail is still pretty good and black levels appear well balanced.

Meshes of the Afternoon, The Private Life of a Cat, Meditation on Violence, The Very Eye of Night and Divine Horsemen received DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono tracks while the rest (At Land, A Study in Choreography for Camera and Ritual in Transfigured Time) are all intentionally silent. The ones with audio, which is primarily music, does have some hissing but given the budget and age of these short films are still respectable.

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