Los Angeles in the Forties

Date: 18 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Wednesday 18 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

Trance and psychodrama, Surrealist montage, symbolism and sexual longing: The beginnings of the modern avant-garde and a new creative film language.

Maya Deren, Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943, b/w, silent, 14 min
Curtis Harrington, Fragment of Seeking, 1946, b/w, sound, 14 min
Kenneth Anger, Fireworks, 1947, b/w, sound, 15 min
Gregory Markopoulos, Psyche, 1947-48, colour, sound, 25 min

“In Los Angeles in 1947, while Kenneth Anger was editing Fireworks, Gregory Markopoulos began to shoot Psyche, the first film of his trilogy Du Sang de la Volupté et de la Mort. […] A few months before he began shooting Psyche, he had assisted Curtis Harrington in making his first film, Fragment of Seeking, where a young man pursues an elusive blonde woman through a maze of corridors reminiscent of Maya Deren’s pursuit of the mirror-faced figure in Meshes of the Afternoon. —P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film