Each one serves on her own fashion...

I'm not a big fan of Maya Deren as a film-maker, but this quote from her Author's Preface to Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti is very inspiring. It can also be taken as a comment on the avant-garde cinema movement she pioneered:
"At the time of my first trip to Haiti there was virtually no precedent for the filming of ceremonies; photographing them was altogether a delicate undertaking, for many reasons. When the time came, I broached the subject to a Voudoun priest whose ceremonies I had attended and who had come to know me well. I spoke to him of my desire to capture the beauty and the significance of the ceremonies, so that the rest of the world might become aware. He understood virtually nothing of cinema and I was uncertain of his reaction, since his own standing in the community could be jeopardized by such a permission. Besides, in his culture, the artist as a singular individual did not exist. Could he possibly understand and sympathize with my motivations? He hesitated but a moment. Then, offering his hand as one would a colleague or collaborator, he said: 'Each one serves in his own fashion.' "

The idea of the artist as an intermediary between nature/spirituality and his/her own community (certainly not limited to avant-garde film) fits very well with the approaches of Stan Brakhage and Sidney Peterson, among many others.

The thanks goes to David Baker for posting the above paragraph on Frameworks. The image is from EM Arts's page about Maya Deren's documentary.


deniz buga said…
hello yoel,
i bumped into your response for film comment's 2009 list, mentioning Un Lac. I just saw the film last week at Film Comment Selects/Lincoln Center, and thrilled by its visual language. i also had chance to see the new life same day. grandriuex was there-whatever he said was completely refreshing.
I am Deniz Buga, born in Istanbul, came to NY to study film some years ago, and now am getting ready to move back to istanbul.
I hope we could meet sometime in istanbul, exchange ideas on films.
Yoel Meranda said…
selam deniz, thanks for writing, very glad you like grandrieux.

we should meet when you're in istanbul, will send you an email soon,

Bendy Necklace said…
"Each one serves on her own fashion..." makes sense, everyone has their unique influences throughout their life which make up their perspective.
Nice to read this quotes, "Each one serves on her own fashion..." As an artist, that would be probably the common denominator of people like me. We have our own fashion on dealing something that we want.

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