Cryptic and Objectionable: The Seashell And The Clergyman


Germaine Dulac’s 1928 film La Coquille et le Clergyman, written by Antonin Artaud, was the first surrealist film. Exploring the  sexual frustrations of a clergyman, it sits alongside films like Un Chein Andalou as an example of daring and provocative cinema.

It certainly provoked the British film censors at the time, who banned it outright in 1929, famously stating that  “it is so cryptic as to be almost meaningless. If there is a meaning, it is doubtless objectionable.”

What more recommendation do you need?

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