In collaboration with SMU’s World Languages and Literature program’s International Film Festival, Club de Femmes (1936) will be screened in the Jeff Gordon Film and Collections room on Tuesday, February 21 at 7 pm. The room is on the 3rd floor, 3210, Hamon Arts Library.
Professor Rachel Ney, Senior Lecturer in French, provides a description of this avant-garde film. Starring Danielle Darrieux, an icon from the 1940’s, Club of Women by Jacques Deval holds a unique place in French cinema. A charming, and, at times, quaint comedy, Club of Women is set in a women only Parisian boarding house, a utopian space of sorts where women are sheltered from society. This 1936 movie captures the social optimism, cultural energy that came along the Popular Front era. Almost a decade before women obtained the right to vote, Club of Women was an early and important attempt at giving a complex representation of women’s struggles and desires. More than 80 years after, Deval’s movie might come across as trite for the modern audience and yet, Club of Women tackled themes very rarely put on the big screen: prostitution, lesbianism, cross-dressing, among others. Do not miss this gem!
The rare print screened for this film has been extensively restored by Jeremy Spracklen, Moving Image Curator, Jones Film & Video Collection. Spracklen provides two examples, seen in the images below, of restoration techniques he used for this film. In the first example, the still of the woman in the bed shows “hash mark” scratches that have been greatly diminished in the cleanup process, seen in the still’s second image. A full restoration will remove these scratches completely.
In the second example, the still of women at a party shows a black spot in the upper right. The second image shows the restoration without this spot by removing changeover cues. The technique uses cloning an image area from neighboring frames to recreate the data missing behind the cues.