Dulac, Germaine

(1882-1942)
   Director. Born Charlotte Elisabeth Germaine Saisset-Schneider in Amiens, Germaine Dulac, whose father was a cavalry officer, was raised primarily by her grandmother. Dulac had an early interest in literature and the arts and was, unusually, encouraged to pursue those. She was an early and outspoken feminist and suffragette. Her marriage, contrary to what might be expected, only encouraged these tendencies, as her husband, Marie-Louis Albert Dulac, shared similar interests and ideas.
   Dulac began her professional life in journalism, becoming editor of the feminist journal La Française. In her capacity as editor, Dulac was obliged to function as a film and theater critic. It was in this way that she met the silent film actress Stacia Napierkowska, who is reported to have encouraged Dulac's interest in cinema. Dulac turned her hand to directing in 1915 and was only the second French woman to take up directing, after Alice Guy, although the actress Musidora would not be far behind. Dulac would ultimately direct more than thirty narrative or fiction films and a handful of documentaries, although her reputation in the present day stems from only three films, La Fête espagnole (1920), a film about a love triangle involving a Spanish dancer that is based on a scenario by Louis Delluc, and which is widely considered the first impressionist film, La Souriante Madame Beudet (1923), about an abused bourgeois wife and widely considered the first feminist film, and La Coquille et le clergyman (1927), a truly surrealist film that is often considered the first.
   Many of Dulac's other films are more conventional and less experimental than the three for which she is best known. Many are romantic stories involving love triangles in particular. These include Ame d'artiste (1925), a forbidden love story about a married play-wright, Antoinette Sabrier (1928), the story of a wife tempted by adultery, and Le Picador (1932), the story of forbidden love of a man for an orphan he has raised and the love triangle involving her and another. Some of her films, such as La Belle dame sans merci (1920), Mort du soleil (1921), and La Folie des valiants (1925) deal with explicitly feminist themes, while others such as Malencontre (1920), Gosette (1923), and Le Diable dans la ville (1924) deal with oppression more generally than in a specifically gender-based sense. In any case, nearly all of her films, both the more popular and the more experimental, often reflected the social concerns that drove her life.
   In addition to their thematic similarities, Dulac's films tend to be visually compelling, organized in a way that is more visual than traditionally narrative. They are often psychologically motivated, focusing on the psychology and the mental state of the characters involved, and distinctly nonlinear in their narrative composition, tending to insert scenes and images that convey other meanings than merely the advancement of plot. This also is consistent with Dulac's philosophical position outside of her filmmaking, since she held, in opposition to the dominant trends of her day, that film should not seek to imitate literature or theater, but rather to evolve into its own form.
   Dulac made films independently from 1915 until the early 1930s, when the arrival of talking films rendered her theories and filmmaking style permanently obsolete. After that she became the head of newsreel production for Pathé and then Gaumont, responsibilities she exercised until her death.

Historical Dictionary of French Cinema. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dulac, Germaine — (Germaine Charlotte Saisset Schneider / November 17, 1882, Amiens, Somme, France July 20, 1942, Paris, France)    Born into a family of industrialists, she was raised by her grandmother in Paris. After studying various arts, including opera,… …   Encyclopedia of French film directors

  • Dulac, Germaine — (1882 1942)    Director. Born Charlotte Elisabeth Germaine Saisset Schneider in Amiens, Germaine Dulac, whose father was a cavalry officer, was raised primarily by her grandmother. Dulac had an early interest in literature and the arts and was,… …   Guide to cinema

  • Dulac, Germaine — pseud. di Saisset Schneider, Germaine …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • DULAC (G.) — DULAC GERMAINE (1882 1942) Si elle n’est pas la première d’entre les «femmes cinéastes» (Alice Guy Blaché, contemporaine de Méliès, l’a précédée), Germaine Dulac fut assurément, avec Leni Riefenstahl, celle dont le rayonnement fut, à son époque,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Dulac — (Germaine) (1882 1942) cinéaste française, la première femme qui réalisa des longs métrages …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Germaine Dulac — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Dulac. Germaine Dulac est une cinéaste française, née à Amiens le 17 novembre 1882, morte à Paris le 20 juillet 1942. Sommaire 1 Parcours …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Germaine Dulac — (* 17. November 1882 in Amiens; † 20. Juli 1942 in Paris) war eine französische Filmregisseurin und Filmtheoretikerin. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Leistungen 2 Filmografie (Auswahl) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Germaine Dulac — (17 November 1882, Amiens, France 20 July 1942, Paris) was a French film director and early film theorist.Famously, she directed The Seashell and the Clergyman (1928), based on a scenario by Antonin Artaud. This film has been credited as the… …   Wikipedia

  • Dulac — can refer to: People Catherine Dulac, a professor for molecular biology Edmund Dulac, French book illustrator Germaine Dulac, French film director and early film theorist Henri Dulac, French mathematician Joseph Dulac (1827–1897), botanist Places …   Wikipedia

  • Dulac — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Edmund Dulac (1882–1953), auch Edmond Dulac, französischer Maler und Graphiker Germaine Dulac (1882–1942), französische Filmregisseurin und Filmtheoretikerin Henri Dulac (1870–1955), französischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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