Thursday, July 24, 2008

Exotica - Meditation on Violence

From the 1999 book 'Exotica. Fabricated soundscapes in a real world' by David Toop:

"[Maya Deren's] other films included Meditation on Violence, made in 1948, a study of the Chinese Wu Tang and Shaolin boxing and Shaolin sword, enacted by Ch'ao Li Chi. Prescient in its anticipation of exotic montages of the near-future, Deren's soundtrack combined a recording of Chinese flute with here own tapes of vodun drumming, documented in Haiti. She moves between dream and dynamic action in her filming, the boxer gliding in slow motion, soundtrack silent, then exploding into the quick violence of drums and fists, the paradox resolved by flute and drums together. (...) In her schematic notes for the film, Deren maps the trajectory, a parabolic arc determined by music. 'The ultimate of an extreme becomes its opposite,' she wrote. 'Here the ultimate violence is paralysis after which the REVERSAL.'

Post scriptum

Here is a post by Kode9 on Deren's film.

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