Glimpse of the Garden (1957)

Filmed in a garden through a powerful magnifying glass, filmmaker Marie Menken's Glimpse of the Garden is a simple visual poem accompanied by the sound of birdsongs. When Glimpse of the Garden was shown at the Cinemathèque Française in 1963, Jonas Mekas reported that the French audience laughed at it, embarrassed by the film's benign simplicity. In contrast to the avant-gardist gestures of many of her contemporaries, Menken offers a simple yet expressionistic view of a garden.
This film captures the stumbling: the transfixed but rather aimless survey of branches, what’s grown overnight, which way which plants are leaning, lapping up shadows, gargling color.

Glimpse of the Garden represents Menken's interest in pure visuals and essentially feminine point-of-view. There is no why for his making films. She just liked the twitters of the machine, and since it was an extension of painting for her, she tried it and loved it. In painting she never liked the staid and static, always looked for what would change the source of light and stance, using glitters, glass beads, luminous paint, so the camera was a natural for her to try.
Whenever she was in her garden, she opened her soul, with all her secret wishes and dreams
The title is Glimpse of the Garden, and not Glimpse of a Garden, because this garden belonged to one of her husband’s former male lovers.

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