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The Seashell and the Clergyman (DVD)


by Germaine Dulac

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Directed in 1927 by Germaine Dulac and scripted by Antonin Artaud, The Seashell and the Clergyman is generally considered to be the first Surrealist film: a key element of French cultural heritage. This box set is all the more welcome for the fact that the film has been hitherto unavailable on DVD. A number of additional bonus tracks illuminate various different aspects of the film; aesthetic, technical and economic. 

This DVD contains:

  • The Seashell and the Clergyman, 1927, 40 min
  • The film in its original silent version, restored by the Nederlands Filmmuseum in collaboration with Light Cone.
  • Three musical versions composed by Pascal Comelade, Thomas Koner and Iris ter Schiphorst.
  • Two extras conceived by Nicolas Droin and Prosper Hillairet, with contributions from Artaud and Dulac experts.

"Germaine Dulac 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, La Fronde and Le Francaise. [...] Dulac was the center of the French Impressionism comprised of intellectuals and filmmakers devoted to promoting film as the 'seventh art.' Dulac was fascinated with movement and her abstract films reflect this. She attempted to create a style that she dubbed 'the integral film... a visual symphony made of rhythmic images.' La Coquille et le Clergyman (1927) is her best example of integral film. In addition to abstract images, Dulac was also known for her abiding commitment to feminist issues as can be seen in her more traditional, and best-known film La Souriante Madame Beudet (1923)." - Light Cone

For individual home use only. For library and university orders please contact Light Cone directly for institutional licence.

  • A new and revised edition of the 160 pages seminal book by Alain and Odette Virmaux The Seashell and the Clergyman: An attempt to shed light on a mythical incident. published by Paris Experimental (1999).
  • Germaine Dulac's biography and filmography.
  • An account of the restoration of the film: Catherine Cormon, director of restoration at the Nederlands Filmmuseum, retraces the history of the different versions of the film and of the restoration process.
  • Bonus material:
      • Tumulte aux Ursulines, A. Deschamps, N. Droin and L Navarri, 2008, 15 min
      • Surimpressions, N. Droin, 2009, 33 min
Additional Information
More Information
SKU 3700246904168
Product contents 1 disc + 160 page book
Year 1927
Director Dulac, Germaine; Artaud, Antonin
Format DVD
Publisher(s) Light Cone
Countries France
Aspect ratio 1.33:1
Colour Black & White
Sound Mono
Language(s) French, English
Running time 88 min
DVD region 0
Certificate N/a
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