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“Most Precious Visions” – ‘Meshes of the Afternoon’

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I sought out Meshes of the Afternoon when I read how much of an influence Maya Deren was on David Lynch’s work. It’s a beautiful fourteen minute experimental film that chronicles a nameless woman (played by the writer/director Deren) as she follows Death through her dreams and into reality. It was filmed for just a few hundred dollars and the help of her husband, and it uses Film Noir lighting and lighting to evoke a terrifying netherealm of Freudian confusion and repressed fantasy. In the second half we meet a husband-figure that physically parallels many of Death’s movements in the earlier portion, and she goes out with a sui/homicidal blast of ocean waves and Jungian shadows. The influence on Lynch was obvious, particularly Eraserhead, Lost Highway, and Mulholland Dr.

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