Dancing with Light: Choreographies of Gender in the Cinema of Germaine Dulac

In: Avant-Garde Film
Tami M. Williams
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This chapter traces the cinematic conception of French feminist and pioneer filmmaker Germaine Dulac as it evolved in her films of the 1920s. Drawing upon sources from Dulac’s personal collection, it explores the artistic influences (especially from music and dance) and the social aspects of Dulac’s approach, not only through her writings and films, but also through the historical conditions of their production. Setting aside the common division between Dulac’s commercial and avant-garde films, this chapter emphasizes the coherence and continuity of her vision across her narrative and non-narrative works, in their evolution from figuration to abstraction, and in her search for a “specific” or “pure” cinema.

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