"Maya Deren was the first of a distinguished succession of filmmaker-theoreticians of the American avant-garde cinema which includes Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas and Hollis Frampton. She was very much an intellectual of the generation trained before the Second World War: her lucid writings address a sophisticated general readership open to arguments about the nature of cinema and its possibilities as a high art. At the heart of her vigorous polemics is the conviction that in her practice as a filmmaker she discovered a film form that points both to the ritual origins of dramatic art and to the future of cinema as a magical orchestration of glimpses of reality."
--P. Adams Sitney, author of Essential Cinema
"Extending from theory to mechanics (including very practical chapters on lenses, tripods, and frames), Essential Deren is an inspiring read for anyone interested in independent filmmaking."
--Kathryn Atweed, Afterimage