Feature Film

Art House

United States 1946 | 15 Min

Ritual in Transfigured Time

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Dancing the reality


Art House


experimental dance




Deren's character sits in a room spinning layers of twine in a manner reminiscent of cat's cradle. Dancer #1, played by Christiani, enters the room and begins wrapping up the spool from Deren's hands. Close-up and slow motion highlight intense feeling on Deren's face as she performs the first of the rituals in the film. 'Haughty Woman', played by Nin, looks upon the scene scornfully. We cut to a new scene where Dancer #1 is wearing a black hooded garment and a cross necklace. A crowded room full of people interact through expressive, dance-like movements. As people try to approach her, she moves to avoid them with graceful, evasive maneuvers. As she goes across the room she looks around intently to find someone. She spots Dancer #2, played by Frank Westbrook, at the back of the room. The two meet and lock eyes. Dancer #1 breaks away from Dancer #2 as other women flock around him. She walks among granite structures and statues in seeming confusion. She comes upon Dancer #1 posing atop a pedestal as a statue. She approaches and as he moves, she begins to back away. He slowly chases after her in long, slow, hopping strides across a field. Deren's character runs underneath a pier into the ocean as Dancer #2 looks on. She wades further and further into the water before the film cuts to negatives. They depict a woman sinking down into the water past the screen. The last shot of the movie is Dancer #1 lifting a bride's veil above her head.(wikipedia)


Maya Deren


Maya Deren


Rita Christiani
Maya Deren
Anaïs Nin
Frank Westbrook
Gore Vidal


Maya Deren


Hella Heyman

Production Designer


Alexander Hammid, Maya Deren