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By far his greatest passion, interest, and love, however, was his daughter, Ellen. She was born Aug. Jan worked as a loan officer at Municipal Employees Credit Union. Services to celebrate her life will be held PM Wed. Vondel L. Mary loved children and helping others. She devoted many years of her life teaching and volunteering for local organizations. She is loved by many and will be missed by all. Mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Wednesday at 10 a.
Burial to follow at Rose Hill Burial Park. In lieu of flowers donations should be made to Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, an organization that recognizes and encourages academic excellence in Oklahoma' s public schools. Donate online or at N. Funeral services will be held at p. Interment will be in the Elmwood Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Billings Funeral Home. Jean attended Okemah schools and graduated from Okemah High School in To this union one son was born, Victor Alan. For a short while they made their home in Okemah. Because of Doyle's work in the oil field the family lived in several different towns in Oklahoma.
They moved to Stafford, Kansas in and lived there until when they moved to Woodward. They have here since that time. Doyle preceded her in death on April 12, Jean was a member of the First Baptist Church. She was an avid golfer and always enjoyed playing with her friends. She is survived by one son Victor Alan Cheatwood of Oklahoma City; several nieces, nephews and many friends.
Besides her husband Doyle, she was preceded in death by her parents and three sisters, Beulah, Lavenna and Rose. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Alzheimer's Research with the funeral home accepting the contributions. Remembrances may be shared on-line at www. Cruz, was taken to Heaven on September 10, We will forever love and miss you! George Warren, Rev.
Bob Langston and Dr. Roberto Escamilla will officiate. Burial will follow at Rosedale Cemetery. Full Military Honors will be conducted at the cemetery. Smith died Monday, September 15, at his home. He lived in this area most of his life. His major was in accounting and his minor was in Biology. After his first semester at East Central in , he worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the personnel files section in Washington, D. He delivered files personally to Director J.
Edgar Hoover. While in Washington, D. C, he attended night school at George Washington University. He served in the U. He flew military aircraft with the "Passage to Freedom" Operation in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged as a Captain. Smith was associated with Hicks A. Smith, Sr. After his discharge, he completed his education at East Central State College.
He served as Ada Postmaster for 26 years from March 3, to February 27, He was a member of the National Association of U. Postmasters, President of the Oklahoma Chapter in He was also a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity. She died August 11, He was preceded in death by his parents, a granddaughter, Lori Lee Smith, and a great grandson, Trevyn Snow, also preceded by his grandfather, Mancil A. Hardin, who served on Ada' s first City Council.
Box ; Ada, Ok Anthony David Phelps was indeed one of those bright and beautiful spirits. Littleton, Suzanne and Chuck, Edmond, a girl. Mercy Conyers, L. Dotson, J. Edwards, M. Frazier, T. Gilbreath, P. James, C. Lairson, K. Metheny, A. Nightingale, K. Wilson, F. Midwifery Health Practitioners.
Lee, Tabitha and Samuel, Del City, a boy. Norman Fajardo, Maria, Norman, a boy. McGehee, June and Fred, Norman, a girl. Pingleton, Wendy and Paul, Norman, a girl. Presbyterian Eidson, J. Hosford, Kelli and Glenn, Midwest City, a girl.
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Seiter, J. Ward, Tamiko, Oklahoma City, a boy. Mollman, Juli and Gregory, Oklahoma City, a girl. Scott, Laura and Aaron, Edmond, a boy. Smith, Lisa and Lantz, Norman, a girl. Spillers, Davina and David, Oklahoma City, a girl. Starkey, Michele and Brad, Oklahoma City, a girl. Thompson, Corrina and Steve, Midwest City, a boy. Oklahoma County Marriage Licenses.
Ralph S. Lancaster, 25, and Kara Shepard, 21, both of Moore. McKinney, 63, NW 27 St. Charles R. Dimitri C. James Hudson, 22, and Misti Perkins, 22, both of Moore. Story continued below Poised and radiating quiet strength, Jack stands out in the neighborhood. He sips tea and meditates, and it is rumored he sunbathes nude in the backyard. All are shocked when he uses a Zen approach to instruct Tom and the entire team, which begins to win games. To Tom, Jack becomes the father he does not have; Jack and his magical dog, Betty Jane, watch over Gunny Seth Mumy as he battles stomach cancer; and Jack urges Jeanne to follow her own instincts and not succumb to the pressure to marry the rich banker in order to provide a father for her sons.
The Mainstream 37 The script for Three Wishes, inspired by European folklore, was originally a thirty-page outline of a story written by coproducers, Clifford and Ellen Green, and then given to Elizabeth Anderson, who had a fellowship at Sundance Writing Institute, to write the script. The story suggests that if an individual does a good deed, such as Jeanne looking after Jack after he was injured, then he or she would be repaid in kind.
Coolidge, sensitive and clear thinking, resists making the film syrupy, yet clearly invokes the magical. The emphasis upon thinking for oneself, upon being the person one wants to be seem to reflect the kind of character Coolidge prefers, and the kind of character she is herself. The film also found itself in the political sphere. Coolidge and her associates, in order to publicize the film, took out a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post at its release in Fall , inviting President Clinton and Senator Robert Dole to the screening of the film.
Aside from attempting to access advertising not usually available for independent films, Coolidge calls attention to the political nature of her earlier documentaries and her continued outspokenness about gender inequality and sexual harassment. Coolidge has worked outside and inside of Hollywood, beginning with experimental films and Valley Girl; Real Genius was a studio production; Rambling Rose was independently produced; but Lost in Yonkers, Angie, and Three Wishes were all mainstream films.
Resembling Grumpy Old Men, this film continues the humorous escapades of the aging pair.
Charlie Matthau is a con artist who drags his brother-in-law onto a cruise ship, where he can meet rich widows to support his gambling habit. The brother-in-law, Herb Lemmon , is still grieving for his dead wife and is not interested in rich widows. Moreover, Charlie neglects to tell him that he has signed them up as dance instructors on the cruise, in order to pay for their passage. Of course, they meet attractive widows; in fact, Herb meets Vivian Gloria de Haven and falls in love with her almost immediately.
The film follows Dandridge from her start in show business with her sister and a friend billed as The Dandridge Sisters, who achieve fame as dancers and 38 Women Directors and Their Films singers, and travel across the country. She begins an affair with Preminger which lasts for years, and when he refuses to divorce his wife and marry her, she begins a downhill slide.
Bad decisions she has made on the advice of Preminger cost her a lucrative contract with Darryl F. Zanuck, head of Twentieth Century-Fox studios. She marries Jack Dennison, a white restaurant owner, who abuses her and takes her money for his own investments. After two years, she divorces him. She has some parts in movies, and she tries singing again, but she cannot perform well because of the antidepressants and alcohol she turns to for comfort. Miles, her former agent who loves her, finds singing engagements and a movie contract for her and is in the process of helping her get her life back together, when he discovers her body on September 8, She has died of a drug overdose, but it is not determined whether it is accidental or intentional.
Miles believes strongly that it was accidental. In clubs where Dandridge had singing engagements, she is not allowed to use the bathroom facilities; she is given a Dixie cup. She is not allowed to eat in the restaurant or enter by the front door. In Las Vegas, she is required to enter the club by the back door, going through the kitchen to the main room, and she is denied the use of the pool. Defiantly, Dandridge sticks her toe in the water, whereupon the pool is drained and scrubbed by black workers before it can be refilled for use.
As for Hollywood at that period in history, parts for African American actresses are limited to slaves, mammies, servants, or other menial workers. Black women could not be paired with white men, and as a result desirable parts for black women were very hard to come by. Following Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Coolidge directed one segment of If These Walls Could Talk 2 , a television series that focused on lesbians The Mainstream 39 living in a house at three different time periods.
Coolidge has directed numerous episodes in television series, including two on Sex and the City , Eddie meets Paige at the bar where she works and asks her immediately to take her top off. She squirts him with seltzer and he is hooked. He has never approached anyone who did not know who he is. He signs up for her chemistry lab, becoming her partner, but cannot always make it to class on time.
She invites him home with her for Thanksgiving holidays, and he meets her parents and he participates in a lawnmower race with her brothers. Back at school, Eddie learns that his father is ill, and he must go back to become King of Denmark.
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Paige follows, eventually winning the approval of his parents. Acknowledging the claim of her becoming a doctor upon her, she tells Eddie she cannot continue and returns home. But, the story is not finished. Page graduates, is accepted to Johns Hopkins University, and, at her graduation, Eddie arrives to tell her he wants her in his life, and he will do whatever is necessary; he will wait however long it takes.
The love affair comes to a halt, however, when his father, the king, dies, and the Prince must return to assume his kingly duties—one of which will be to marry another person to be his queen. Not only is she a workaholic, but she is single-minded about her own future. The point of the movie being, that she is going to learn, through loving the prince, to open herself up to other possibilities. Coolidge notes the way the conflicts in the conflicting cultures were demonstrated: colors used for the Wisconsin shots are much warmer colors than those used for the cold, blue colors of Denmark.
Prince Edvard is shown with his groupie girls after the race, whereas Paige is seen with her friends celebrating the wedding. But, despite the fact that these episodes certainly suggest an impending crash of opposites, the chemistry that exists between these two characters is quite strong. He had never been on his own with a woman who did not know who he was and he was not automatically in control. He falls in love with her in the bar scene where she is cleaning up; she falls in love with him in the laundry room when he explains Shakespeare to her.
This scene is significant: it shows that she is the scientist, and he the poet. She has no metaphorical bones in her body, being a scientist who is concerned with facts and not the likes of Shakespeare. The two are opposites, yet each provides the lack in the other. Paige follows him, undergoing an initial conflict with the Queen Mother Miranda Richardson , who introduces Paige to the life of responsibility and public appearances—her future life if she becomes Queen.
Paige says goodbye to Eddie and goes home. While the audience expects this to be the final scene, it is not. At her graduation from college, when Eddie appears with his plea, it is as if two people are coming out of themselves through the evolving dialogue to compromise and resolve the conflict. She flaunts a stylized violence and visual intensity usually reserved for male directors, though blended so masterfully with continuous revisions of major genres, echoes of earlier male directors and her own gender-related issues, the results are complex, layered artifacts.
Bigelow was born November 27, , in San Carlos, California, to a paint factory manager and a librarian. After high school, she studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, graduating in She received a scholarship to the Whitney Museum in New York, eventually moving from abstract art to film studies, and graduated from Columbia Graduate Film School in In , Bigelow directed a short student film, The Set-Up; coscripted and codirected with Monty Montgomery, a fellow student, her first feature film Loveless in ; directed and coscripted with Eric Red her first mainstream film, After Dark, in ; and, in , directed Blue Steel, a film about a female cop who tracked down her stalker.
In , she and director James Cameron were married; they divorced in , the same year of the release of Point Break. In , her best-known film, Strange Days, shocked audiences with its apocalyptic vision of a society on the eve of destruction, followed by K The Widowmaker, in Bigelow codirected a television mini-series, Wild Palms , as well as various episodes of television dramas, including Homicide: Life on the Street —99 and Karen Sisco To endeavor to reach a wide audience, Bigelow chose to work with the action genre, one most associated with male directors and audiences, and also within the noir tradition—a prominent vehicle for male fantasy.
The twenty-four-minute experimental film recounts an episode of two men fighting in an alley, while two theorists on voiceover speculate about the causes for violence. This film led to Loveless, a story of an outsider biker gang in the s on their way to Florida, who pass through a small town and generate a series of violent encounters with various citizens in the town.
In a small Georgia town, where they wait for bike repairs, Vance has a sexual encounter with a girl whose promiscuity derives from being a victim of incest. The film, containing long stretches of no dialogue and little action, functions as a meditation on violence and power in the sexually repressed s. The expanse of sun-scorched flat earth and its historic association with civilization and cowboys in the classic western genre is replaced with the dark lawless realm of savage, ageless vampires whose only fears are of exploding in the sunlight.
Bright material heroics of the western tradition contrast oddly with the nightmare world of the supernatural. Caleb Adrian Pasdar , an Oklahoma farm boy, on his way into town at twilight to spend an evening with his friends, sees Mae Jenny Wright , a delicate, otherworldly girl who speaks to him of the beauty of the night. Mae lassos Caleb, who stops his truck later on determined to kiss her. He is, however, kidnapped by her family who demands that he adopts their lifestyle of sleeping in their aging, darkened Winnebago all day and killing at night.
The vampire family descends on a bar, specifically a barmaid whose throat they cut, catching her blood in a beer mug and passing it among the family members. Caleb is urged to kill his first victim thus, winning his spurs , but he lets the young man escape, as a violent brawl erupts in the bar, with the vampires killing the bartender among others, and burning the building as they escape. The film ironically depicts the total freedom of the west with the subversive vampire attraction of endless adventure and invincibility.
Bigelow omits traditional trappings of vampire lore, utilizing only the sun in her contemporary narrative. It was with Blue Steel that Bigelow achieved the notoriety that comes with writing and directing a film whose main character is a female cop. Megan discovers the identity of Hunt and tracks him down. The film is popular with feminist critics, who enjoy Curtis as a cop whose role of female victim and female hero is never really resolved.
Utah, taught to surf by Tyler Lori Petty , makes the acquaintance of Bodhi, and a struggle between the beliefs and values of each ensues. He is depicted as a free agent outside the system, and a part of a counterculture. The dominant culture, represented by Utah, a creature of schedules and deadlines who, because of its rigid concept of time, has not been able to apprehend the Ex-Presidents, because they view time as passing seasons.
The surveillance agents and the surfers engage in a struggle between beliefs and values, which dominates the film. Bigelow views the surfers, who enjoy their own language, dress code, and conduct, as reflecting subversive, countercultural values 44 Women Directors and Their Films that undermine the conservative law-and-order system. Bigelow first depicts this opposition in her opening shots of Bodhi surfing balletically in slow motion on the perfect wave intercut with Johnny Utah, the cop executing his training routine.
Despite being a box office failure, Strange Days is a provocative look at the approaching new millennium, focusing on events during December 30 and 31, , in Los Angeles. The story centers on Lenny Nero Ralph Fiennes , a former vice-squad cop, who is now a prominent purveyor of a superconductor device SQUID that allows the wearer to relive the experiences, usually erotic or violent, of other people. His search takes him through a society reeling from technological surfeit, violence, racism, and paranoia, as Bigelow invokes a formidable critique of an out-of-control civilization on the brink of self-destruction.
Ironically, her depiction of a society of voyeurs bent on living through the experiences of others mirrors a nation of filmgoers whose need for the spectacular is alarming. I mean. You know, breakfast cereal. Lenny, unable to establish a new relationship, dotes on his taped memories of happier days with Faith, because newer acquisitions fail to satisfy. Bigelow comments: The movie explores the idea of watching and the need to watch, and Lenny is a kind of director-to-producer of heightened reality documentaries that put the viewer into the head of the person having a particular experience.
As our society progresses and genuine experience becomes a riskier and riskier enterprise, so the desire for it will increase. Webb 1 But it is through her genre inversion and gender reversals that Bigelow stamps her trademark and generates deeper meanings. Within the traditional noir pattern, the main character, usually an ex-cop, seeks and ferrets out truth from unsavory characters who are judged, while he remains an upright person of integrity. In other noirs, the main character, morally ambivalent and therefore susceptible to temptation, is undone by greed or lust and defeated by his enemies.
Mace, an African American single parent who drives an armored limousine for the wealthy, emerges as the strongest person in the film. A person of integrity, she is fond of Lenny because he cared for her son when her husband was arrested, and, like many African Americans, Mace is economically incapable of participating in the technological explosion that specifically affects white individuals in the film. Lenny sees his discovery of the tape depicting the murder of Jeriko-One the ticket to possibly reclaiming Faith, but it actually becomes the crux of a critical situation between Lenny and Mace.
Lenny wants only Faith and to return to his voyeuristic existence, immune to any responsibilities. Mace is the conscience of the film; as a mother who wants a better world for her son and is acutely aware of the racial oppression, she demands that the tape be used to bring the two murderous cops to justice. Lenny concedes, and his redemptive actions show him capable of more than mere self-indulgence. Words are poor substitutes for the technical virtuosity of Strange Days. Bigelow is a master of action scenes; the fast-paced opening episode bristling with kinetic energy is a breathtaking example.
Despite the fact that she had always been involved in the scriptwriting process, Bigelow chose a novel of the same name written by Anita Shreve that presumably offered her opportunities to concentrate on feminine points of view. One woman survived and identified the murderer, who was later hanged. But, as Jean reads the trial account, she becomes more vexed by the attempts of Adaline Elizabeth Hurley to seduce Thomas, her drunken husband. Little is known about the brother, who is attracted to Jean, or Adaline, who is provocative and scantily clad.
We learn that Thomas has drifted into alcoholism after he caused the death of a woman in a car wreck, that his marriage to Jean is in trouble, and that they have a daughter at home. On the boat during a storm, Jean sees Adaline fall overboard, and says nothing. Thomas rescues her, but is drowned. The nineteenth-century story shows Maren Sarah Polley , the woman who survived in a loveless marriage, working endlessly to ease her loneliness. She is passionately in love with her brother, having created a family scandal by carrying on a sexual relationship with him in Norway.
In a blind rage, Maren murders Karen and Anethe. Perhaps, as Jean becomes preoccupied with Maren and her story, she shares a feminine sensibility across time and place that incites her own jealousy and rage.
Strangely, Jean has an abrupt confrontation with and recognition of Maren in the turbulent water, as she tries unsuccessfully to rescue Thomas. Sexual tension and repression in parallels the tension on the boat as Adaline flaunts herself. But to what end? The muddled film was a miserable failure at the box office. In the frenzy of the Cold War crisis, a Russian atomic submarine, hastily put together and ill equipped The Mainstream 47 for its mission, was sent to fire a test missile in the Arctic Circle and then assume a conspicuous station in the Atlantic Ocean as a warning to the United States.
Wearing only plastic raincoats, the men were contaminated and consequently doomed, and the rising radiation level threatened everyone aboard. Another crisis rampant through the ship pertained to the command of the vessel. Polenin was offered the command, but refused it and ordered the traitors arrested.
When the crew was finally rescued, the two captains went home in disgrace, and were never given a command again. News of this tragedy was not known to the world until the s when a documentary of the event, produced by National Geographic, was aired on PBS. Mimi, her brother, Reuben, and sister, Geraldine, were heavily influenced by their father, whose career as an independent filmmaker spanned three decades, and whose filmmaking involved every member of the family.
After graduation, Leder became a script supervisor on the television program, Hill Street Blues. Leder was awarded two Emmys for her work on ER. Written by Michael Schiffer, the script is based on an article written by Andrew and Leslie Cockburn that was carefully researched for detailed accuracy concerning nuclear smuggling out of the former Soviet nations. Although Dr. Devoe and Kelly, who have little in common except their job, are sent to France, Germany, Macedonia, Vienna, the Russian—Iranian border, where they work through their mutual dislike to its conclusion.
The film begins with a manipulated train wreck, designed to cover the theft of the warheads, and is followed later by a nuclear explosion in the heart of the Urals that allegedly kills , people. The terrorist Marcel Iures who eventually smuggles a nuclear bomb in the United States with plans that hinge upon the United Nations Building in New York is no soulless cypher. To the special effects, Leder adds a clear emotional aspect with regard to the man in pain, who is tortured by the memories of his dead friends and family members.
Before The Peacemaker was playing at theaters, Leder was working hard on the second film steered her way by Spielberg and Dreamworks and in a coproduction effort with Paramount. Deep Impact, intended to be a summer blockbuster for , followed Titanic James Cameron, , which had succeeded in balancing its gender appeal.
Containing at least three interconnecting stories, the film was a logistical nightmare that made the direction of Deep Impact an extremely challenging task. Leder begins the film with a depiction of the initial discovery of the Wolf— Biederman comet by high school student Leo Biederman and the finding of the existence of the ELE Extinction Level Event one year later by intrepid television reporter Jenny Lerner Tea Leoni. ELE was first thought by Lerner to be the name of a woman and, intrigued by the possibility of a sexual scandal, Lerner keeps digging and soon hears from the President Morgan Freeman himself the real story.
Announcing to the country that a comet the size of Manhattan is on a collision with the United States, he says the government is not without a plan. Retired astronaut Spurgeon Tanner Robert Duvall is heading a mission into space to destroy the comet or alter its course. The mission fails, whereupon a national lottery is set up to choose , ordinary individuals under the age of 50, along with , scientists, soldiers, and government officials—a total of 1,, people—to be relegated to underground caves for preservation against total extinction.
Most of the remainder of the film is occupied with the great mass of the population facing its own death and either trying to escape it or preparing for it. Leo Biederman Elijah Wood , the young discoverer of the comet, has fallen in love with Sarah Hotchner Leelee Sobieski , and being one of those chosen by the lottery to escape annihilation by his removal to the cave, quite naturally exerts every effort to take her with him. Lerner herself is emotionally trapped between her mother Vanessa Redgrave and her divorced and alienated father Maximilian Schell , who again in the end proves undependable.
The scenes of desperate humanity fleeing the doomed East Coast for safety farther inland, of women choosing a quiet place with their children to wait for the 50 Women Directors and Their Films end and, significantly, the episode near the end of the father holding his infant child above his head hoping for someone to save him all have an emotional impact not always seen in summer event films. Indicating that the aspect of the characters in Deep Impact facing their own deaths is the thing that drew her to the film, she expresses hope that moviegoers, upon leaving the theater, would pause to ask of themselves what might be the final acts of their lives in a similar situation, and to consider their decisions.
Set in Las Vegas, the story follows several months in the life of seventh-grader Trevor Osment , the son of Arlene Hunt , an alcoholic who works two jobs to pay the bills, and the student of Mr. Simonet Spacey , who has both physical and emotional scars from childhood abuse. Trevor conceives the idea of Paying it Forward, in which he elects to help three people who are unable to help themselves, each of whom in turn would help three more individuals, and so on.
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The plan functions much like a pyramid scheme, and ironically a homeless person James Caviesel who is trying to become a successful ex-drug addict is given shelter by Trevor but relapses. Trevor believes his mother and Mr. Simonet would make an ideal couple, but mutual attraction between the two is not enough for a real relationship. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Pay it Forward idea is catching on, as we see a man giving the keys to his Jaguar to a stranger Jay Mohr , whose car was demolished in a police standoff gone bad, that he as a reporter was attempting to cover.
By that time, Arlene has refused to be a victim to her abusive ex-husband, Ricky Jon Bon Jovi , has stopped drinking, and has a relationship with Eugene Simonet. She has located her own mother, Grace, and has invited her to visit the family The Mainstream 51 when sober and assume her grandmotherly duties to Trevor. And, yet, Arlene has only recently forgiven her mother for her childhood traumas, she finds out that Eugene Simonet is a wounded, defensive person whose own father poured gasoline on him and set fire to him, and Trevor, in coming to the aid of his small, helpless friend is knifed in the side by a bellicose gang member.
The film raises questions about humanity and if it might be redeemable. In a male-dominated industry where biases against women in positions of power limit their capacity to express themselves creatively, many women have chosen to participate outside the mainstream in alternative cinema. Women whose voices have been stifled opt to tell stories about what they know, or their own emotional experiences, and to reject formulaic or action-oriented film.
The women directors discussed in this chapter have all begun in independent film. With the exception of Maya Deren, whose interest was experimental, avant-garde film, all these women have worked extensively in television. Established by actor Robert Redford in with the primary mission of displaying fresh talent, the Sundance Institute provides professional help for aspiring filmmakers with its Screenwriters and Filmmakers Labs and offers unknown filmmakers opportunities for film distribution. The Derenkowsky family was split up when during one of the many government transitions following the Russian revolution, Dr.
Derenkowsky and all the other physicians in Kiev were taken away by the Bolsheviks to an unknown locality. He was able to return, whereupon he bribed the guards at the frontline and escaped into Poland. Later, he sent for Marie and little Eleanora, who in a harrowing night ordeal, fled to Poland, and from there to France, eventually emigrating to Syracuse, New York, to join Dr. While Dr.
Derenkowsky studied at Syracuse University for an American degree in medicine, Marie and Eleanora stayed with relatives in Columbus, Ohio, where Marie worked in a factory. Once he received his diploma and passed the State Board examinations, the family was reunited in Syracuse, where he accepted a position at the State School for the Mentally Defective, a position he held the next eighteen years until his death in Derenkowsky became naturalized citizens and changed their names to Deren.
After she finished elementary school in Syracuse, Deren, accompanied by her mother, traveled to Switzerland to enter the Ecole de Internationale de Geneva in Deren was in Switzerland for three years, studying French and German, returning to Syracuse in During —33, Marie lived in Paris and took courses at the Sorbonne. Back in Syracuse, Deren entered the University of Syracuse at the age of Under the guidance of her father, Deren experienced a dramatic shift from the female world of her mother, roommate, and friends and found it difficult to adjust.
While studying journalism, she and other Russian immigrants read and discussed Russian literary figures and the Russian classics. She transferred to New York University, from which she graduated the following year, and separated from Bardacke. She enrolled in the graduate program at Smith College and was awarded an MA in English literature in In , Deren moved to Los Angeles and was hired as secretary and editorial assistant to choreographer 54 Women Directors and Their Films Katherine Dunham, on the cross-country road tour of the musical, Cabin in the Sky In Los Angeles, Deren, divorced from Bardacke, met Alexander Hammid, a Czechoslovakian refugee, and a professional filmmaker of documentaries.
Deren and Hammid married in , at a time when she was writing poetry. Although grief-stricken, Deren believed that her father, who had opposed her journalistic and artistic career, would never have respected her desire to pursue filmmaking; his death apparently released her to follow filmmaking. Ironically, with the small amount of money left her by her father, she bought a second-hand Bolex 16 mm camera she used for all her films, and she and Hammid made Meshes of the Afternoon, her first film.
After the film was completed, she elected to create a new identity, and chose the name Maya, Hindi for illusion, to go with her new film and her new freedom to become her own person. She created an exotic free spirit image, wearing her dark hair long and curly, and dressing herself in a dirndl and peasant blouse, complete with large hoop earrings. After Meshes was made, Deren and Hammid moved back to New York, where she began screening the film regularly and lecturing on independent filmmaking.
She began a second film, Witches Cradle , which was never finished, and followed it with At Land, a fifteen-minute film featuring Deren herself on various landscapes and including Hammid, composer John Cage and critic Parker Tyler. Divorced from Hammid, Deren began to transfer her interest in film to Haiti and Voudoun culture, a subject that captivated her for the next eight years.
She used the money from the Guggenheim Fellowship to travel to Haiti for a period of nine months, where she observed Voudoun rituals for a planned film on rituals and dances in different cultures. In November , forty filmmakers met as the newly formed Film Artists Society, and continued meeting until when the group expanded, renaming itself the Independent Film Makers Association, Inc. In , Deren also founded and operated by herself the Creative Film Foundation CFF , a nonprofit organization that awarded filmmaking grants to independent filmmakers—the grants being funded by small contributions from her filmmaking friends.
The CFF was the first organization in this country to present money grants and citations to independent filmmakers regularly Rabinowitz 80— She had received permission from a 56 Women Directors and Their Films priest outside Port-au-Prince and proceeded to shoot ceremonies or benedictions to the specific god, or loa, which included sacrifices and possessions, in which the individual is dressed either as a deity or an ordinary person. Also, drumming, singing, and various forms of prayer were filmed. Her pursuit of myth and ritual in dance and film, which captured the fluid, spontaneous movements of Haitian ritual that charted the process of connaissance, or possession, created a groundbreaking method of representation in her use of art in ethnography.
While many critics saw Deren as changing artistic directions, others saw something else altogether. In addition to her Haitian activities and her organization building, Deren found time to complete Meditation on Violence in and The Very Eye of Night in , both of which bore evidence of her immersion in ritual. In , she married Japanese musician Teijo Ito, her third husband, who composed soundtrack music for her films. She suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage and died on October 13, , in New York. When Deren made Meshes of the Afternoon, she introduced avant-garde, a kind of filmmaking associated in Europe with art and which, though outside the mainstream of film production, attempted to incorporate the principles of modernist art into film.
A woman catches a glimpse of a hooded figure vanishing around the curve in the road. The woman then knocks at the door of the house, finds it locked, locates a key in her purse, but it slips through her fingers. Recovering Independents, Experiments, Documentaries 57 the key, she opens the door: a newspaper is scattered on the floor; a knife in a loaf of bread removes itself and falls on the table.
As she climbs the stairs to the bedroom, she moves past a telephone receiver off its hook, and discovers an unmade bed and a record spinning on the turntable. The woman turns off the record player, descends the stairs and sits in a chair facing the front of the house. She holds the flower on her lap, strokes herself sensuously, and falls asleep.
The film repeats these events three more times with variations, each one ending with the woman looking out the window and observing herself walking down the path and entering the house. In the plot structure of Meshes, it becomes obvious that the first sequence of the film contains the incident, and the dream consists of the manipulation of the elements of time.
Everything that happens in the dream has its suggestion in the first sequence—the knife, the key, the repetition of the stairs, the figure disappearing around the curve in the road. Obviously, the emphasis in the film is on the complexity of the dream within a dream, reflecting a concern with both the interior and exterior action within the film.
When the woman falls asleep in the chair, the camera focuses on her eye and appears to move from the outside world into her mind, and through a kind of fabricated editing, shows the woman, her lover, and the hooded figure wearing a mirror for a face, and passing repeatedly in and out of the house. Abruptly, a man appears, who wakes her; and, quickly, they go upstairs, where he lays the flower on the bed and she lies beside him. He caresses her, whereupon the flower becomes a knife with which she stabs him in the face, which then becomes a mirror, its pieces falling on a beach.
Almost immediately, we see the same man walking on the road, picking up the flower and entering the house to discover the woman lying in an easy chair with her throat slit among broken glass. But, as the objects shift and fragment, their transformation producing unresolved questions of whose dream it is and who perpetrated the violence and when, the reworking of the elements in succeeding sequences seem to assure that no one interpretation of the film should prevail.
In At Land, Hella Heyman films Deren rising from the ocean, crawling over logs, and, unnoticed, to the middle of a banquet table, stealing a chess figure from a board and then losing it.
Unlike the editing in Meshes, which was used to join the outer world with the inner one, it functions here as a connector of the unlikely areas that Deren traverses and serves to relate her pattern of movement with a chess game. Males respond to her intrusion with hostility and threats, hoping to limit her mobility, whereas females tend to ignore her unless she caresses their hair, distracting them from the match— whereupon, she steals their chess pieces.
The two chess pieces stolen from male and female players by Deren, who absconds with them back into the sea, suggests her defiance of the rules of the game. A Study in Choreography for Camera, three minutes long, marks a change from the previous two Deren films in that it abandons the narrative form, focusing instead primarily upon a single gesture as a complete film form. Ritual in Transfigured Time was intended to be the first of several filmic examinations of ritual.