september, 2018

wed05sep7:00 pmwed8:00 pmThe Smiling Madame Beudet and Abstract Shorts by Germaine DulacJudith Rosenberg on piano7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT BAMPFA, 2155 Center Street Berkeley, CACountry:USA

Event Details

In The Smiling Madame Beudet, considered by many to be Germaine Dulac’s masterpiece, she uses all the cinematic means at her disposal to tell the story of the frustrations and fantasies of a young wife, trapped in a loveless marriage with a boorish husband. Here female desire is inherently deviant and can only be expressed through the imagination. Dulac gives us access to Madame Beudet’s inner life through the use of a variety of effects (special lenses, superimpositions, odd angles, a focus on repeated gestures) so that we see and feel the marriage through her eyes. In the late 1920s, Dulac embarked on an intense period of radical aesthetic exploration, implementing some of the ideas she had been writing about in her essays on the avant-garde in her abstract shorts Thèmes et variations, Étude cinégraphique sur une arabesque, and Disque 957. While sometimes inspired by pieces of music and using often recognizable imagery—mechanical, organic, and human forms in motion—the focus in these films was on rhythms, light, and movement. In Dulac’s words: “Lines, surfaces, volumes evolving directly, without the artifice of evocations, in the logic of their forms, freed from any too human meaning to better elevate themselves to abstraction and to give more space to sensations and dreams: integral cinema.”
—Irina Leimbacher

Étude cinégraphique sur une arabesque – Germaine Dulac, France, 1929

Thèmes et variations – Germaine Dulac, France, 1928

Disque 957 – Germaine Dulac, France, 1928

The Smiling Madame Beudet (La souriante Madame Beudet) – Germaine Dulac, France, 1923


(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT



2155 Center Street Berkeley, CA