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Germaine DulacA Cinema of Sensations$
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Tami Williams

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038471

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038471.001.0001

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Negotiating Art and Industry in the Postwar Context

Negotiating Art and Industry in the Postwar Context

(p.77) Chapter 3 Negotiating Art and Industry in the Postwar Context
Germaine Dulac

Tami Williams

University of Illinois Press

This chapter studies several of Dulac's early narrative Impressionist films, and her ideal of cinema as a spatiotemporally complex universe of symbols—one in which meaning is created through an intertextual network of figurative associations, such as pictorial and rhythmic gesture. Dulac's integral approach, based on life, movement, and rhythm, exemplified in a surviving extract of what is considered the first Impressionist film, La Fête espagnole (1920), is used in a particularly innovative and feminist manner in one of her earliest extant films, La Belle Dame sans merci (1921). Dulac's use of dance as a discursive metaphor disrupts a heteronormative, monogamous, and linear narrative structure, creating a queer subtext in her later films, both commercial and avant-garde.

Keywords:   Germaine Dulac, Impressionist films, pictorial gesture, rhythmic gesture, La Fête espagnole, La Belle Dame sans merci, queer subtext, avant-garde films, feminism

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