Short Film: Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) dir. Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid

Welcome to MustSeeCinema’s short film corner. You can watch the full short, Meshes of the Afternoon at your leisure below, in the embedded video player. All films are eclectically chosen, based on their historic and cultural significance, as well as their entertainment and philosophical values. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more of our Short Film Recommendations!

Husband and wife team, Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid directed what is one of the greatest American avant-garde films of the 20th century. In an experimental fashion, a circular narrative recounts events that may or may not have happened. Creative and unique. Surrealist imagery and symbolism throughout, including an interesting personification of Death. Novel editing technique and stark black-and-white photography.

Widely influential and an important part of American cinema history. The influence of Meshes can, most notably, clearly be seen in the experimental narratives of some of David Lynch’s later works (Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire).


(Note: The original version of the film had no musical score and one was added under Maya Deren’s supervision in 1959 – composed by her third husband, Teiji Ito, and influenced by classical Japanese music)

Meshes of the Afternoon Cast: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid 

Written by: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid