My introduction to Germaine Dulac many years ago in film school revolved around the surrealists. I learned about her fraught collaboration with Antonin Artaud, which resulted in a group of surrealists rioting at the premiere of The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928).
However, Germaine Dulac was so much more than an object of surrealist ire and mythology. She was a pioneer of artistry in early cinema. A prolific writer, educator, and filmmaker, she deserves as prominent a place in film history as her French impressionist and visual music peers.
This video attempts to convey the aspects of her work that resonate most with me: her feminism, her rebellious women characters, and her playful visual style.
This video is also part of the Directed by Women celebration. For the entire month of September, the IU Cinema will devote itself to works by women filmmakers, kicking the month off with other women pioneers of early cinema.
- Running the Screen: Directed by Women (the full September program)
- Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, September 3, 7:00 p.m.
- Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers with DJ MADDØG, September 5, 5:00-8:00 p.m., as part of First Thursdays Celebration
Laura Ivins loves stop motion, home movies, imperfect films, nature hikes, and Stephen Crane’s poetry. She has a PhD from Indiana University and an MFA from Boston University. In addition to watching and writing about movies, sometimes she also makes them.