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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Beyond the Canon: 3 by Maya Deren + Mulholland Drive

It is no secret that the cinema canon has historically skewed toward lionizing the white, male auteur. Beyond the Canon is a monthly series that seeks to question that history and broaden horizons by pairing one much-loved, highly regarded, canonized classic with a thematically or stylistically-related—and equally brilliant—work by a filmmaker traditionally excluded from that discussion. This month’s double feature pairs three films by Maya Deren with David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive (2001).

By Shelley Farmer

Without Maya Deren, the filmmaker widely recognized as the mother of American avant-garde cinema, there is no David Lynch. Their works overlap both thematically—in their interest in doubles, dance, and the darkness underlying the mundane—as well as in visual and formal aspects: their use of mirror imagery, negative photography, and superimposition, to their dreamlike narrative logic and pacing.