La Coquille et le Clergyman
Medium: Film Video
Artist: Germaine Dulac
Confronting Bodies: British Board Of Film Censors
Dates of Action: 1929
Description of Artwork: La Coquille has been given the honor of being the first Feminist and Surrealist film ever made and, not surprisingly, it has caused its fair share of controversy. The director, Germaine Dulac, used a scenario written by Antonin Artaud, but gave it her own interpretation. Artaud had initiailly wanted to play the priest (played by Alex Allin) but not to direct the film, but after the film had come out immediately started criticizing Dulac for her modification of his misogynistic and brutal scenario. According to the film journalist Wendy Dozoretz Artaud shouted, 'Mme Dulac is a cow!' at the premiere and his friends stopped the screening before storming out. La Coquille is "...the unique product of two incongruous minds." (Dozoretz. Wide Angle. 1979)
The Incident: Banned in 1929 by the British Board of Film Censors.
Results of Incident: In banning it the British Board Of Film Censors states: "This film is apparently meaningless, but if it has any meaning it is doubtless objectionable."