At Land

		Sequence A
 
The Seashore 
	On a deserted seashore a girl is being 
beached. It takes a long time, and instead of a 
back-and-forth motion, the waves pull only 
out and the tide goes visibly out. At the 
same time, the girl, without moving, seems higher 
and higher up on the shore. She watches the 
sea desert her with inactive longing, accepting 
the sand which, as she dries off, slowly collects 
around her, idly watching a bird fly long across 
the sky. The seashore was a flat wide one, 
without rocks. Now, suddenly, as she stirs in 
very, very slow motion in close-up, we see 
that her head rests against the rock. Slowly, in 
slow motion, she begins to turn, at the same 
time pulling herself up to look over the rock. 
In her hand the seaweed has imperceptibly 
turned to sand and as she raises her hand to 
help herself, a shower of sand falls from it. 
She struggles with a swimming motion almost, 
so slow it is, to raise herself to look over the
rock.
 
		Sequence B
 
The Table 
	As her head comes up we see that she is 
pulling herself up to the level of a long, long 
table. People are sitting all along the sides of
it, chatting amiably as if at a large dinner
party except that there is not much food 
before them. All through this shot they do 
not seem to see her at all. She looks fixedly at 
the man at the head of the table, but we 
cannot see him clearly both because of the 
distance and because his face is always rather 
accidentally, as if, turned away from a full 
view. She pulls herself up on the table, still in 
slow motion, and begins to crawl, swimmingly, 
towards the man at the head of the table. In 
close-ups we see her face, arms, and feet 
pushing through a thick brush, but in the long 
shots we cannot understand why it is so
difficult because she seems  to be crawling
along the unencumbered table top. We see, in 
pan, as if from her crawling point of view, 
the faces of the people who are completely 
unaware of what is transpiring on their table 
top. After a long while she reaches the end of 
the table and sees that the man has a chess 
board in front of him. The chess game is in 
the opening part. Just as she reaches him, he 
rises, and everyone also rises and they begin 
forming a social group. From the table top 
she tries to catch a glimpse of his face but 
again, as if accidentally, it is always obscured 
by other people or turned away. As she looks 
down at the board, the chess game, amazingly, 
seems to be continuing of its own accord. It 
makes several moves and a black pawn is 
taken; that is, the white pawn which takes it 
simply knocks it down and it begins rolling
towards the edge of the board, and rolls off. 
She moves towards it and leans over to look 
over the edge of the board towards the fallen 
pawn.
 
		Sequence C
 
The Rock River  
	Looking through a hole in a large rock the 
pawn falls down to a stream of water below. 
She lets herself down the hole after it and 
begins to walk among the rocks apparently 
after the pawn. Her attitude has urgency at 
first and then imperceptibly becomes much 
calmer and soon even very casual. Suddenly 
she is talking to a young man who walks along 
beside her. As they walk along casually he 
changes his identity without disturbing the 
rhythm of the walk or conversation or the 
action or the relationship. They come to a 
falling down shack, he slightly ahead of her 
and he freely and easily goes through the door 
to it but as she goes to follow him, in the 
entrance is a small hole in the wall. She 
sort of accepts this fact with only a slight 
distress and starts to crawl in after him.
 
		Sequence D
 
The Dying Man in the Room  
	She is standing in a room in which every-
thing has been draped in white as in a house 
which is closed for the summer. Someone has 
just closed a door leading out. When she first 
looks around the room it is deserted. She 
walks forward a bit. Now, when she looks 
around, there is a man in the bed. Somewhere 
the camera pans over a chess board. She walks 
to the foot of the bed and stands there. They 
look at each other a long time but with no 
special expressions. Then she is holding a cat 
in her arms as if she is holding lilies or a baby. 
She lets her arms go and the cat springs down. 
She turns and walks to one of the doors and 
opens it.

		Sequence E
 
The Mirrors  [Never filmed] 
	She enters the bathroom. She looks at 
herself in the mirror and then notices the 
other side reflection of herself. She moves the 
mirrors back and  forth, looking, looking, 
creating new images of herself. Then she tires 
of this and turns to open a door, but there are 
several. She tries first one and then the other. 
They make an intricate pattern. Finally, she 
opens the one she came in from, steps to the 
ledge and looks down.
 
		Sequence F
 
The Rock and Sea Stones 
	She sees she is on a large rock overlooking
the shore and sea. She has almost stepped off
and pulls back with fright. Then, very 
fearfully, she starts to clamber down and 
finally reaches the shore. She walks along a 
little and then finds a stone she likes and bends 
down and picks it up. Pretty soon she sees 
another one and picks that one up. Then 
another and another. Until her arms are full 
and overflowing and she still bends down and 
the ones she has fall and it amounts to a frenzy.
 
		Sequence G
 
The Black and the Blonde at Chess  
	Suddenly, she is no longer holding the 
stones but is standing there watching two 
girls sitting over a chess board playing. They 
seem gay about it, talking to each other as 
they do so. Then she is standing in back of 
them, because they are suddenly both on one 
side of the board and she begins stroking their 
hair. They love it and lean their heads back 
like cats and begin to laugh with delight and 
she, stroking their hair, laughs too. The chess 
game goes on although they do not seem to 
play very seriously. Nevertheless the white 
queen is about to be taken and as the black 
haired one moves a figure to knock off the 
white queen, the girl suddenly stops stroking 
their hair, grabs the queen, and begins to run.
 
		Sequence H
 
	She is now alone on the beach and she 
begins running with a sort of urgent anguish-
ecstasy on her face; she is suddenly leaping 
off the rock that she climbed down before; 
lands in front of the mirrors of the bathroom; 
dashes through the white room with the man 
dying in it; runs through the time of the rock 
river; and the time of the social people at the 
table; and runs and runs along the first 
seashore until the camera loses her.
 
 


Scenario by Maya Deren

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