A pioneering filmmaker and feminist, Germaine Dulac toggled between commercial and avant-garde modes, with one of her most famous works, “The Seashell and the Clergyman” (1928), prefiguring surrealism. Dulac’s earliest extant title, “The Cigarette” concerns a liberated young woman and her older husband who believes she is having an affair. With its understated acting and location shooting, Dulac fuses realistic tendencies with impressionistic visual association. Considered one of Dulac’s most feminist films, “The Smiling Madame Beudet” is also a crucial step in her continuing de-emphasis of traditional narrative structures in favor of visual association. The film offers a bleak portrait of marriage and its constraining effects on the woman, while vividly externalizing her dreams of liberation.