I'm not sure exactly how much detail your after, but Lauren Rabinovitz's extended discussion of Deren's films in the context of her relationship with Hammid (and others) is probably the most detailed bit of scholarship yet published that pursues the line of inquiry you're suggesting (i.e., how the films "reflect different views of relationships and domesticity").
Check it out at your local library! The book is called POINTS OF RESISTANCE: WOMEN, POWER AND POLITICS IN THE NEW YORK AVANT-GARDE CINEMA, 1943-71. ________________________________________ From: frameworks-boun...@jonasmekasfilms.com [frameworks-boun...@jonasmekasfilms.com] on behalf of David Tetzlaff [djte...@gmail.com] Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 2:08 PM To: Experimental Film Discussion List Subject: [Frameworks] speaking of Maya Deren... Does anyone the personal details of the end of the Deren/Hammid relationship? e.g. who filed for the divorce, was it mutual, what caused the breakup, etc.? I've always been curious how Meshes and Private Life of a Cat reflect different views of relationships and domesticity. Based on the films, I've always thought Hammid wanted to 'settle-down,' but Deren had other ideas, and more-or-less broke his heart. There's very little about their personal relationship in any web info about Deren, but I did learn just today on a Czech website devoted to Hammid as a master of Czech cinema (http://tinyurl.com/7vebqct), that his second wife was Hella Heyman -- who shot At Land and Ritual in Transfigured Time! These are the facts as I can gather them. 1941: The Kathleen Dunham Dance company goes to LA for several months to work in Hollywood, as Dunham's personal secretary, Elenora Deren goes along. There she meets Alexander Hackenscmid and they begin a romance. 1942: Deren and Hackenscmid get married. 1943: Deren and Hackenscmid create Meshes of the Afternoon. Deren adopts the first name 'Maya' 1944: Deren and Hackenscmid move to New York. Hella Heyman becomes Deren's principal cinematographer. Deren (with Heyman) makes At Land. Hackenscmid adopts the surname 'Hammid". 1946: Deren (with Heyman) makes Ritual in Transfigured Time. 1947: The Private Life of a Cat, credited to Hammid is completed. Deren presents Meshes of the Afternoon at Cannes. Hammid and Deren get divorced. Deren gets a Guggenheim fellowship and begins her study of Voudoun. 1948: Hammid and Heyman get married. They have two children, Julia (b. ~1951) and Tino (b. ~ 1952). Hella Hammid establishes a career as a still photographer for LIFE snd other publications, while Sasha Hammid works in documentary and educational films. 1951: Deren meets 16 year old Japanese musician Teiji Ito, and they begin a romantic relationship. 1959: Ito writes the score for Meshes of the Afternoon that now sems to accompany all copies of the film. 1960: Ito and Deren are married. 1961: Deren dies of a cerebral hemmorage, possibly exaccerbated by her use of (prescription?) amphetemines dating from her time with the Dunham company. 1974: Hella Hammmid moves to Los Angeles, while Sasha Hammid remains working in New York. She gets involved in 'Remote Viewing' (ESP) experiments, and becomes an important figure and heroine in parapsychology. 1992: Hella Hammid dies of breast cancer in Los Angeles. 2004: Sasha Hammid dies at age 96 in NYC. 2007: Julia and Tino Hammid both write comments to a brief blog entry about their father, in which they seem to take a less than sympathetic view of Maya Deren. http://tinyurl.com/2asz2dr --- So, just at a personal level, (I'm not thinking this has much if any aesthetic significance) I'm curious about what happened. How and why did Hammid and Deren grow apart. Did Heyman 'steal' Hammid, or 'grab him on the rebound,' or did Hammid begin to pursue Heyman while he was still married to Deren? Hammid and Deren both lived in NYC from 1944-1962. Did they move in the same social or artistic circles? Did they have any contact at all. How did they regard each other? What did Hammid think of Deren's 'adoption' of Ito? What was Deren's attitude toward Heyman after Heyman and Hammid married? What did Hammid think of Ito's score, and the fact it became part of the canonical version of 'Meshes'? Did they ask him? Did he approve? When Hella Hammid moved to LA and got into the parapsychology thing, did she and Hammid get divorced? Had their marriage disintegrated before that, or did her move come as a surprise? Is there anything more than coincidence in the parallels between Deren and Heyman-Hammid? (Deren gets divorced from Hammid and goes off to Haiti to get into Voodoun; Hella splits for LA and gets into ESP.) Did Sasha have a weak spot for women who were into weirder stuff than he could handle? All the people who knew Hammid seem to describe him as a modest, mellow self-effacing guy. Which makes me doubt he would have been the source of his kids' apparent antipathy to Deren (which, perhaps significantly, only surfaced well after his death). Did they just come up with this on their own as a result of encountering Deren's legend, or could Hella Hammid have made light of light of Deren, or grumbled that the Deren mythology shorted the contribution she and Sasha had made to Meshes, At Land and Ritual? Not to turn FRAMEWORKS into an experimental film tabloid, but 'my enquiring mind wants to know.' ;-) _______________________________________________ FrameWorks mailing list FrameWorks@jonasmekasfilms.com https://mailman-mail5.webfaction.com/listinfo/frameworks _______________________________________________ FrameWorks mailing list FrameWorks@jonasmekasfilms.com https://mailman-mail5.webfaction.com/listinfo/frameworks