The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928, France)
Directed by Germaine Dulac
Presented on 16mm film
With live score by Lori Goldston with Judith Hamann, Dave Abramson and Corey Brewer
March 29 | 8pm
Tickets: $10-$20, available online
The Seashell and the Clergyman is a Surrealist film directed in 1928 by Germaine Dulac, from a screenplay by Antonin Artaud. At the time of its release the British Film Censors banned it, noting that “This film is apparently meaningless, but if it has any meaning it is doubtless objectionable.”
More recently the British Film Institute included it on their list of 10 Great Feminist Films, stating:
"Germaine Dulac was involved in the avant garde in Paris in the 1920s. Both The Smiling Madame Beudet (1922) and The Seashell and the Clergyman are important early examples of radical experimental feminist filmmaking, and provide an antidote to the art made by the surrealist brotherhood. The latter film, an interpretation of Anton Artaud’s book of the same name, is a visually imaginative critique of patriarchy – state and church – and of male sexuality. On its premiere, the surrealists greeted it with noisy derision, calling Dulac 'une cache'."
Lori Goldston and her collaborators improvise a live score, channelling the hallucinatory dream-logic of the film. Featuring Goldston on cello with
Judith Hamann, cello
Dave Abramson, percussion, found objects, etc.
Corey Brewer, vocals, found objects, etc.
“Goldston’s score for the Seashell and the Clergyman builds a dark and emotionally resonant motif that compliments the surrealsim of the film. Goldston’s cello, filtered through guitar pedals for this film, helps tropes of the silent film that could look melodramatic to a contemporary audience seem once again strange and otherworldy.” –Christy LeMaster, Cinema Borealis, Chicago
The program includes short early “trick” films TBD