Museum's film series features "In the Mirror of Maya Deren"
2007-2008 "Movies at the Museum" series concludes in May

For immediate release April 18, 2008


Contact: Jeff Morgan,, (515) 281-3858

(DES MOINES) – The State Historical Museum’s 2007-2008 “Movies at the Museum” concludes next month with “In the Mirror of Maya Deren.”

“Maya Deren” will be shown at 7 p.m. May 1 and 2 p.m. May 3. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at and at the door. Moviegoers who purchase a ticket at the door and bring a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank of Iowa will receive a $1 discount. State employees who present an identification badge when purchasing tickets at the door may receive a $1 discount. More information is available at or 515-281-5111.

In conjunction with the movie, Ralph Christian and Paula Mohr of the State Historical Preservation Office will offer a presentation about “Hollywood in the Heartland,” a SHPO project that is documenting Iowa’s ties to Hollywood and the film industry. The presentation will be offered at 6:30 p.m. May 1 and 1:30 p.m. May 3. The presentation is included with the movie ticket.

“Hollywood in the Heartland” is a multi-year, multi-phase project focusing primarily on properties built for or associated with the movies before 1970. The project is being conducted in partnership with the Iowa Historic Preservation Alliance (IHPA), Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Tourism Office. SPHO recently received a $45,300 Preserve America grant through the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service in support of the project.

Deren, arguably the most important and innovative avant-garde documentary filmmaker in the history of American cinema, has been deemed “Fellini and Bergman wrapped in one gloriously possessed body.”

Using locations from the Hollywood Hills to Haiti in the 1940s and 1950s, Deren made such mesmerizing documentaries as “At Land, Ritual in Transfigured Time” and her masterpiece, “Meshes of the Afternoon,” which won a prestigious international experimental filmmaking prize at the 1947 Cannes Film Festival.

Starting with excerpts from these documentaries, “In the Mirror” seamlessly and effectively interweaves archival footage and observances from acolytes and contemporaries such as Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas with an original score by experimental jazz legend John Zorn.

Documentarian Martina Kudlacek has fashioned not only a fascinating portrait of a groundbreaking and influential artist, but a pitch-perfect introduction to her strikingly beautiful and poetic body of work.


 The State Historical Society of Iowa is a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and is a trustee of Iowa’s historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa’s past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa’s historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state. Visit or call 515-281-5111 for more information.

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