Filmmaker Maya Deren was truly ahead of her time. Deren was a Ukrainian born American artist, whose contributions to film played an important and early role in the avant garde. Deren believed that the point of film was to create an experience for the viewer. Her idea of film as an experience is beautifully conveyed in Witch's Cradle, an occult film she made in 1943. I'm amazed that the striking imagery in this film is from almost 80 years ago, such as the scene of a young woman with a pentagram on her forehead.
Deren died in 1961, at the age of 44, from a brain hemorrhage brought on by extreme malnutrition. Her condition may have also been weakened by her long-term dependence on amphetamines and sleeping pills prescribed by Max Jacobson, a doctor and member of the arts scene, notorious for his liberal prescription of drugs, who later became famous as one of President John F. Kennedy's physicians.
Her ashes were scattered in Japan at Mount Fuji.