A cinematic icon for 40 years, Delphine Seyrig (1932–1990) was admired for her cerebral stage and screen performances, her fierce defense of women’s rights, and her daring collaborations with independent filmmakers in offbeat productions now considered classic. An actress of extraordinary range and possessing elegance and a mellifluous voice, Seyrig worked from the inside out, meticulously creating fully realized yet mysterious, thoroughly modern female characters.
Seyrig’s defining roles were in Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad (1961) and Muriel (1963), and she also worked with Joseph Losey, François Truffaut, Luis Buñuel, and the photographers-filmmakers Robert Frank and William Klein. Her seminal work was with female directors such as Marguerite Duras (in India Song, 1975), and Chantal Akerman and Ulrike Ottinger. Combining politics and cinema, she directed a documentary on sexism in the entertainment industry, Sois belle et tais-toi (Look Beautiful and Keep Your Mouth Shut, 1977).
Organized by Mary Lea Bandy, Chief Curator, Jytte Jensen, Associate Curator, and Helena M. Robinson, Research Assistant, Department of Film and Media, with the support of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, New York.