Notes on Marie Menken | Chicago Reader

Notes on Marie Menken

As a follow-up to her brilliant and definitive In the Mirror of Maya Deren (2002), Czech-Austrian filmmaker Martina Kudlacek's 2006 documentary about the lesser-known experimental film pioneer Marie Menken disappointed me a little. But on reflection I suspect this has more to do with my preference for Deren over Menken than with the solid historiography and the sensitivity of this work. Menken's improvisatory, nonnarrative shooting style looks a bit rough alongside Deren's polished professionalism, but it may have had a stronger impact on other experimental filmmakers, including Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, and Andy Warhol, and this offers an intriguing and valuable look at her milieu as well as her work. 97 min.

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