Sunday, October 20, 2013


Experimental/Avant Garde Cinema Week Day 7

There are several experimental or avant garde films on the 1001 movie list. In trying to figure out how to deal with them, I decided that the best way for me to handle these often tough nuts to crack is just watch them and try to answer ten basic questions about them on my personally devised standardized test. So let us conclude the films for this week with...

Meshes of the Afternoon

1. What happens?
A flower is placed on a sidewalk and picked up by a young woman. She walks up the steps to her house and goes in after struggling with the key. The house has newspapers on the floor and a loaf of bread on the table with a knife in it. The telephone leading up the stairs is off the hook. She goes up the stairs of her room and sees a phonograph playing. She sits in a chair by the window and falls asleep.

A faceless and shroudded figure walks on the pathway outside the house and the woman attempts to follow her. The woman can't catch the figure and goes back into the house and finds the knife from the bread on the steps leading upstairs. She races up the stairs to find the knife now on her bed and the telephone in her bed and off the hook.

She becomes disoriented before taking the needle off the phongraph. She sees an image of herself sitting in the chair facing the window where she fell asleep! She goes to the window and once again sees the shrouded figure outside and she sees the image of herself once again chasing the shrouded figure.

The shrouded figure goes into the house and one of the representations of the woman follows her. The figure places the flower on the woman's bed as the woman watches.

We witness the cycle of a version of the young woman following the shrouded figure again as the version of the woman inside the house takes the key to the house out of her mouth before it turns into a knife.

The three versions of the woman are now at a table inside the house where the knife turns back into a key.

One of the versions of the woman goes up to another version of the woman in the chair and appears about to stab her. As the woman in the chair reacts, the stabbing version of the woman turns into a man. The man turns away from her and proceeds upstairs and puts a flower on the bed as the woman follows.

They sit on the bed together before the woman grabs the knife and appears to shatter the image of him with the knife handle.

An ocean view is now followed by the same man walking down the path before going into the woman's house. After he enters the house, he sees the woman dead in her chair.

2. Was it heavy? Did it achieve total heaviosity?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen...we have now achieved total heaviosity!

3. What was your favorite part?
Not really one particular part. More of how the entire film fits together.

4. What was your least favorite part?
The fact that the face of the shrouded figure looks a bit like an iron was a little distracting.

5. Did you get it?
I think so. And I've got to declare Meshes of the Afternoon as my favorite of the seven films from Experimental/Avant Garde Cinema Week!

6. Might the viewing experience have been enhanced from either prescription or non-prescription medication of some kind?
I believe with the right medication, you might be tempted to watch this a dozen times or so.

7. What about the sex?
The man and woman sit in the bed together, but anything beyond that is left to the imagination.

8. What about the violence?
The image of the woman at the end was more disturbing because we did not see the violence.

9. Describe this film in one sentence starting with "This is the film that..."
"This is the film that was so hard to describe I typed a 410 word summary for a film that only lasted only 14 minutes."

10. Would you watch it again?
Yes, I would like that.


  1. This was an interesting week!

    For me, though, Salo isn't avant garde/experimental in the same way as the other six. Vinyl, for example, would have fitted better.

    And by the way, one of the (few!?) good things about most of these movies is that they are quite short.

  2. I actually agree with you about the categorization of Salo. I do have enough of the avant garde cinema listings left to do another week. From all I've heard about Vinyl, Flaming Creatures and Too Early, Too Late, It may be a pretty long seven days.