Still Frame

Clyfford Still had, in the words of Denver Film Society’s Keith Garcia, “a lot of playful notions about movement.” Tonight, audiences at the Denver FilmCenter will examine Still’s relationship to an abstract expressionist of a different stripe, Russian avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren, in Film/Still: Short Films of Maya Deren. The society will show several of Deren’s films in a tight 75-minute presentation, followed by a discussion on the visual concepts of Still and Deren led by University of Colorado film-studies professor Melinda Barlow.

“Maya Deren, herself being a dancer, brought a lot of movement to her filmmaking,” says Garcia. “We’re juxtaposing [Still] with a program of films that come to life. Clyfford Still and Maya Deren were technically peers of the same era; we’re seeing if perhaps there was some inspiration back and forth.”

The night will include Deren’s first and best-known film, Meshes of the Afternoon, a tense, image-heavy silent film in which Deren plays an unnamed woman shifting between real and dream states, stalked by a cloaked reaper figure with a mirrored face. The night also includes A Study in Choreography for the Camera, Ritual in Transfigured Time and Meditation on Violence.

Film/Still begins at 7 p.m. at the Denver FilmCenter, 2510 East Colfax Avenue. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 for members of either the society or the museum. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 303-595-3456 or visit
Thu., July 26, 7 p.m., 2012


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