Storm de Hirsch was a very important player in the New York Avant-Garde film scene of the 1960s, though her biography and work are generally left out of the history.
Much of her work is abstract and employs a number of experimental techniques. In an interview with Jonas Mekas on the making of Divinations she says "I wanted badly to make an animated short and had no camera available. I did have some old, unused film stock and several roles of 16mm. sound tape. So I used that - plus a variety of discarded surgical instruments and the sharp edge of a screwdriver - by cutting, etching, and painting directly on both film and tape."
Sometimes these animations are superimposed over live-action footage. Her films are clearly influenced by her poetic background, and continued publishing books of poetry throughout her life. Her films also reveal an interest in eastern religious practices and rituals. Her work explores the possibilities of light and is concerned with spatial elements. In one film, Third Eye Butterfly, she uses a two-screen projection with split-screen frames to create a kaleidoscopic effect.
On Peyote Queen:
"A further exploration into the color of ritual, the color of thought; a journey through the underworld of sensory derangement." - Canyon Cinema
"Soon the technicolor tiger claw scratches melt into dancing, human-like lines, and this is intercut with the progressive symbolism of the glyphs — breasts, fish, water, stars, the moon, female lips, seemingly a sailboat — De Hirsch represents these prehistoric glyphs by painting directly on the film stock. Unique, psychedelic motifs such as these certify Peyote Queen as an avant-garde gem." - DINCA BLOG
"A very beautiful work! The abstractions drawn directly on film are like the paintings of Miró moving at full speed to the rhythm of an African beat." - D. Noguez, La Nouvelle Revue Française
"Among my favorites ... beauty and excitement." - Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice
On The Tattooed Man:
"A major work in terms of style, structure, graphic invention, image manipulation and symbolic ritual. Short abbreviated dream-like moments, fused together by the tension and the dynamic of motion-picture time." - Stan Vanderbeek
"A death-haunted dream of sensuous color and sensual imagery." - Richard Whitehall, LA Free Press