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ARCHIVE

18th(2016)



The Smiling Madame Beudet

Germaine DULAC

  • France
  • 1922
  • 38min
  • HD
  • black and white
  • Fiction

Violence Experimental Classic

SYNOPSIS

Madame Beudet is used to Monsieur Beudet playing a stupid practical joke. A frequent stunt is one in which he puts an empty revolver to his head and threatens to shoot himself. After getting into an argument with Monsieur Beudet, she secretly puts bullets into the revolver, hoping that he will accidentally kill himself next time he pulls the same practical joke. However, after a sleepless night she becomes stricken with remorse and tries secretly to retrieve the bullets the next morning.


Program Note

The
 Smiling Madame Beudet
 10.0pt;line-height:115%;mso-ascii-font-family:\" 맑은=\"\" 고딕\";mso-ascii-theme-font:=\"\" major-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:\"맑은=\"\" 고딕\";mso-fareast-theme-font:major-latin;=\"\" mso-hansi-font-family:\"맑은=\"\" 고딕\";mso-hansi-theme-font:major-latin\"=\"\">, a film by
 master of surrealist experimental cinema, Germaine DULAC, is known as the very
 first feminist film. This film portrays the complex psychology of a middle
 class woman who lives in a loveless marriage with an apathetic and violent
 husband. Madame Beudet’s husband belittles her artistic talent, ridicules her,
 and treats her as a worthless being. Most of all, Monsieur Beudet’s frequent
 stunt, during which he puts an empty revolver to his head and threatens to kill
 himself, is Madam Beudet’s worst nightmare. By using filmmaking techniques such
 as slow motion, blur, superimposed images, split screen as well as using mirrors
 frames, and close-up montage, DULAC expresses psychological splitting and
 conflict throughout the film. The juxtaposition of a wife who could not help
 but respond violently in confronting her husband’s own violence and the way he
 – as someone who has always viewed women as weak creatures who could not
 possibly dare to kill themselves – reacts towards her behavior in a truly
 ironic manner. [CHO HeyYoung]

Director

  • Germaine DULACGermaine DULAC

    Germaine DULAC (1882 – 1942) was the first feminist filmmaker and a key figure in the development of the French Avant-Garde cinema of the \'20s. In the early 1900s, she had been a photographer and writer in two feminist journals. Intrigued with film, she began Delia Film, her own production company after World War I. Her first films were standard melodramas but she became the center of French Impressionist circles, comprised of intellectuals and filmmakers devoted to promoting film as the \'seventh art.\' She was also known for her abiding commitment to feminist issues, as can be seen in her more traditional and best-known film, The Smiling Madame Beudet(1923).

Credit

  • ProducerCharles DELAC, Marcel VANDAL
  • Cast Germaine DERMOZ, Alexandre ARQUILLIÈRE, Jean D'YD
  • Screenwriter Germaine DULAC, André OBEY
  • Cinematography Maurice FORSTER, Paul PARGUEL