Previously at the ICA - Films
6 Sep 2015
Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid's experimental investigation of deeply personal psychology, combined with their self-sufficient production ethics, would serve as inspiration for Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar. Using repetitive structures and iconic imagery, they construct a hallucinatory narrative that delves into the intimate subjectivity of its characters.
Meshes Of The Afternoon was one of the key films which influenced Lynne Ramsay to study filmmaking rather than still photography.
‘Meshes of the Afternoon is one of the most influential works in experimental cinema. A non-narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the "trance film," in which a protagonist appears in a dreamlike state, and where the camera conveys his or her subjective focus. The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is attuned to her unconscious mind and caught in a web of dream events that spill over into reality. Symbolic objects, such as a key and a knife, recur throughout the film; events are open-ended and interrupted. Deren explained that she wanted "to put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately." (MOMA)
Meshes Of The Afternoon, dirs. Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid, USA 1943, 14 mins.
Continuing her distinctive, and personal approach to filmmaking, Ramsay followed her debut feature Ratcatcher with an adaptation based on the novel of the same name written by Alan Warner. The story follows a young woman in Scotland, played by Samantha Morton, who wakes on Christmas morning to find her boyfriend has committed suicide. Discovering his bank card and the text of his first novel, she decides to take his money and publish the novel under her name.
"I was interested in [Morvern Callar] because it isn't a very straight narrative, it is original in terms of character, it's original in terms of plot in some ways as well. That's a major risk because the reason conventional narratives are liked is because they work, and they've always worked. People like to be led like that. But that doesn't mean that there isn't another way of doing it. I enjoy experimenting and taking risks with the form." Lynne Ramsay, Vertigo
Morvern Callar, dir. Lynne Ramsay, UK 2002, 97 mins.
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