Friday Feature: First Feminist Film
May 11, 2012 1:43 AM   Subscribe

The Smiling Madame Beudet made in 1922 is generally regarded by scholars and theorists as history's premier "feminist film".
Germaine Dulac (wiki) was a central figure in 1920's French avant-garde cinema, and its only woman director. A filmmaker with her own production company who worked in narrative, avant-garde, and documentary genres, Dulac was also an active feminist, critic, and a prolific writer who wrote some of the earliest treatises on avant-garde film.
Later she made what was considerered one of the first surrealist films: The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928) from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud who later denounced it.
This resulted in a letter to La Nouvelle Revue Française, because the journal had omitted to mention her as the “author” stating that the intellectuals and the filmmakers should develop a closer kinship to one another, for it is only nuances between words that irremediably keep them apart.
posted by adamvasco (4 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Fantastic! Thanks!
posted by Wolof at 2:03 AM on May 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed The Smiling Madame Beudet quite a bit and am looking forward to the seashell. Thanks for the post!
posted by languagehat at 3:02 PM on May 11, 2012

Great post! My boyfriend just bought the Avant-Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920's and 1930's DVD collection which includes The Seashell and the Clergyman while we were at the Whitney Museum. We should watch this one this weekend!
posted by blacktshirtandjeans at 4:59 PM on May 11, 2012

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