It's October, which of course means there are no women who make horror films. So here's a feature by another director who doesn't exist:
No one has had a more profound effect on filmmaking and filmmakers with a smaller body of work than this Mother of the Avant Garde. Sometimes credited with revolutionizing Mise en Scene, at the least everyone agrees that the legendary rabble rousing intellectual/artist/actress/theorist/voodoo priestess is still worthy of dissection and study in film school for her crucial work on Symbolist film poetry, self expression and her invention of "Creative Geography".
Professional deconstructionist guru Robert McKee has the most right-on evaluation I've ever read of the meaning of MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON. In his famous GENRE MASTERPIECE class, he breaks it down shot by shot to prove his thesis that Maya Deren was expressing every woman's fear that a female artist who marries will los her identity and bring death to her creativity...Ironically, she shot the film with her first husband Alexander Hammid in 1943 and didn't officially finish it until a decade later with her third husband (a much younger composer named Teiji Ito who added the striking and haunting score).
MESHES is a gorgeously lyrical and primal fear-stoking short film that bats away the male gaze, and has influenced everyone from Jaques Torneau to David Lynch to, well...me. Watching MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON in film school at 18 was life-changing. When we went to shoot Jenny's nightmare sequences in THE COMMUNE I pulled stills from MESHES.
Read: ESSENTIAL DEREN: COLLECTED WRITINGS ON FILM
Maya Deren, Pioneer of the American Avant Garde Movement
Watch: AT LAND Shot in 1944, AL is another dream-like classic about the fight to keep one's personal identity. Unmissable for the crazy-ass goggles and big foot scene. Just watch it.
Rent: DIVINE HORSEMEN: THE LIVING GODS OF HAITI
Documentary IN THE MIRROR OF MAYA DEREN
And if you live in NYC you JUST missed the sixth month MOMA exhibit on Deren. Argh!