Synopsis by Leo Charney
One of the most important and influential experimental films of the 20th century, Maya Deren's 18-minute feminist classic explores the interior images of a woman (played by Deren) whose daydreams restore mystery and danger to the ordinary objects of her everyday life. Deren veers away from plot to advance her view that a film should be like a poem: a deep tissue of images designed to examine a mood or startle us with the strangeness of the things around us. Using film as an artistic medium rather than as a vehicle for stars or story or action, Deren looks back toward the earlier European avant-garde of such filmmakers as Germaine Dulac, who believed that film most resembled the abstract yet emotional form of music. Deren's investigation of one woman's subconscious experience explicitly rejects the linear form of theater and literature in favor of the non-narrative models offered by painting, music, sculpture, or poetry. This alternative view of film as a non-narrative artform was incalculably influential on future filmmakers, and in 1990 Meshes was named to the Library of Congress's National Film Registry.
High Artistic Quality, High Historical Importance