Leading American avant-garde filmmaker sometimes referred to as the "mother of the Underground film. " In the US from the early 20s, Deren was intending to write a book about dance and accompanying Katherine Dunham on a national tour when she met Czech documentarian Alexander Hammid, who in 1942 became her second husband. Her first film, the surrealistic "Meshes of the Afternoon" (1943, 18 minutes) was a landmark in the history of American cinema, a psychosexually-themed "trance film" co-directed with Hammid. A striking beauty, Deren played the lead herself -- that of a young girl who claims to have been sexually molested, but one is not sure if the molestation is real or the result of a dream. The theme of dream vs. reality would play handily in Deren's future works as well. In her next work, "At Land" (1944, 15 minutes), Deren continued her subjectivist filmic odysseys and brought to the fore her concern with the manipulation of space and time, a recurrent preoccupation which resurfaced in "Ritual in Transfigured Time" (1946, 16 minutes), a formally daring exploration of dance and ritual.