Sunday, July 13, 2003

Germaine Dulac: Duty, Deviance and Desire

Silent Classics by Germaine Dulac

Castro Theater

Co-presented with The San Francisco Silent Film Festival

French filmmaker Germaine Dulac was the feminist of the 1920s avant-garde and a tireless advocate of film as an independent and idiosyncratic art. Working in narrative, experimental and finally newsreel forms, she also wrote some of the earliest manifestoes for an avant-garde cinema. This year the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents rare archival prints of her masterpieces, The Smiling Madame Beudet-the tale of an imaginative but oppressed young wife-and the controversial The Seashell and the Clergyman. With a script by Artaud, who had hoped to star in it, this work is arguably the first surrealist film, preceding Buñuel and Dali’s Un Chien Andalou by a year. Gorgeous prints from the Cinémathèque Française will be accompanied by an original piano score by Michael Mortilla. Look out for a planned Dulac retrospective in September. (Irina Leimbacher)