The Seashell and the Clergyman

by testcard

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about

Experimental soundtrack for The Seashell and the Clergyman (French: La Coquille et le clergyman). Premiered at the Brighton Cinematheque in 2000 with the 16mm British Film Institute copy.

Considered by many to be the first surrealist film. It was directed by Germaine Dulac, from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud, and premiered in Paris on 9 February 1928. The film follows the erotic hallucinations of a priest lusting after the wife of a general.

“The Seashell and the Clergyman penetrates the skin of material reality and plunges the viewer into an unstable landscape where the image cannot be trusted. Remarkably, Artaud not only subverts the physical, surface image, but also its interconnection with other images. The result is a complex, multi-layered film, so semiotically unstable that images dissolve into one another both visually and ‘semantically’, truly investing in film’s ability to act upon the subconscious.

The British Board of Film Censors famously reported that the film was “Apparently meaningless” but “If there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable”[2].

Artaud allegedly loathed the resulting film, shouting back at the screen during the premiere and calling director Dulac “a cow”.

credits

released January 1, 2000

Testcard : Adrian Shephard
with thanks to Vicki Bennett (People Like Us) and Lepke B. (Die Trip Computer DIe)

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about

Testcard Berlin, Germany

TESTCARD are a misconstructive performance group formed in 1993. Research range from Ouija board transmissions to brain frequency and mind/body experiments.

Testcard are based in Berlin.

for more info:
www.testcard.org
email testcard@rocketmail.com

www.adrianshephard.com
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