Online Film Club - Smiling Madame Beudet

Online Film Club - Smiling Madame Beudet

Discussion in English; films streamable at links provided, in French with English subtitles

Saturday, May 2 at 2:00 p.m.
Free admission - Donations encouraged
This event is ONLINE - zoom links will be emailed following registration

Register now

For more information on the how/why of ciné-club, see the "about" section at the bottom of the page.

Going a little stir crazy this week? Germaine Dulac gets it. This week, we'll be looking at some of the French canon's most ingenius creators: the trailblazing women of the silent era, whose fantastical and comedic works are often overlooked in favor of Lumière and his crew. The linchpin of our discussion this week shall be: 


The Smiling Madame Beudet / La souriante Madame Beudet (1923)

Streaming on YouTube (38 min.) 

This short film by Germaine Dulac, centering on a frustrated woman in a psychologically abusive marriage, is as visually inventive as it is haunting. Dulac treats us to visions of Mme Beudet's tormented imagination in scenes that are subtly reminiscent of Nosferatu and and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, only the monster in Dulac's film is far more real than these phantasmagoric villains. In addition to its aesthetic merit, The Smiling Madame Beudet is also one of the few films of its period that depicts a woman protagonist with a complex sense of interiority. This film is ahead of its time in many ways - what else do you see? 

We'll be pairing Dulac's film with some shorter, lighter fare: 


Alice Guy-Blaché Shorts (1907)

  1. Madame a des envies / Madame's Cravings  - Streaming on YouTube (5 min.)
  2. Les résultats du féminisme / The Consequences of Feminism  - Streaming on YouTube (6 min.)

Simple skits or societal parodies? These short films by the first recognized female filmmaker are goofy and lighthearted, but poke fun at some big topics. What do you make of this screwball style? 

We'll once again be joined by Aurore Spiers, PhD Candidate in the Cinema and Media Studies department at the University of Chicago. Welcome back, Aurore!  



La Vague Bizarre – Watching the weird stuff

Isn’t it time you caught up on all those French cult classics you’ve been meaning to watch? If you’re a cinéphilefrancophile, or just looking for some fun conversation in these isolating times, we’ve got you covered. Join us for a laid-back, weekly discussion of classic films, as we explore the weirder side of the French canon. This ain’t your grandma’s Godard! (although I guess technically it could have been).

Each week, we’ll reveal the film up for discussion by Monday on our social media and the events page of our website. We’ll also include some historical context, potential discussion points to consider while watching, and some links for where to view it. You’ll have the rest of the week to watch the film independently and then we’ll group up online via Zoom on Saturday at 2 PM to discuss. BYOB (or W). Sound good?  

For the sake of inclusivity, the discussion will be in English. Since we’ll be having our meetings over zoom, the group size will be limited to 15 registrants. When you register, we’ll send you a link for accessing the conversation group. Come full of thoughts or just full of ramblings – we’ll take either! 

Discussion will be led by Matthew Jackson, one of our culture interns. Matthew studied film at the University of Chicago and spends most of his time blathering about movies online.