Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

7/1/2014 - 8/31/2014

Funding Totals

$6,000.00 (approved)
$6,000.00 (awarded)

A Liberated Cinema: Reconstituting the Postwar French Film State, 1946-1958

FAIN: FT-61757-14

Tim Palmer
University of North Carolina, Wilmington (Wilmington, NC 28403-3201)

This book-length project uses unpublished archival materials to explore the rise of a postwar French film state, a period during which France systematically developed a preeminent moving image culture, suitable for global export. A LIBERATED CINEMA: RECONSTITUTING THE POSTWAR FRENCH FILM STATE, 1946-1958, a revisionist history, primarily investigates a quartet of generative sources: the implementation of top-down governmental initiatives to build a so-called 'quality' (and popular) French cinema; the creation of the Cannes Film Festival as a site to validate these French ideals of progressive film art; the rise of advanced critical-practical training within the Parisian film school circuit; and the concomitant appearance of counter-cultural media discourses in France, such as lesbian cinema, dissident documentaries, and satirical animations. From these contexts grew a fascinating yet until now neglected film ecosystem, whose legacy is still felt today.

Associated Products

"Drift: Paule Delsol Inside and Outside the French New Wave" (Article)
Title: "Drift: Paule Delsol Inside and Outside the French New Wave"
Author: Tim Palmer
Abstract: This essay studies the long-overlooked French New Wave filmmaker Paule Delsol, focusing on her debut feature, La Dérive (Drift, 1962–1964). Using archival primary documents, the essay first examines her artistic emergence, her independent mode of production, her interactions with François Truffaut and her outlier status within the New Wave. Second, the essay examines the feminist design of La Dérive, its stylistic and temporal agitations, its considerations of female-centred domestic binds in 1960s France, versus better-known New Wave texts. Third, the essay contrasts La Dérive’s polarised reception, especially its censorship and distribution problems, with Delsol’s enfranchised status at Cahiers du cinéma, emphasising her many published contributions to the New Wave’s agenda.
Year: 2017
Primary URL:
Format: Journal
Periodical Title: Studies in French Cinema (2017) 7:2, 144-164.

The Joy of Burglary: Wealth Relocation Strategies for the Upwardly Mobile in the Postwar French Policier (Book Section)
Title: The Joy of Burglary: Wealth Relocation Strategies for the Upwardly Mobile in the Postwar French Policier
Author: Tim Palmer
Editor: Jim Leach and Jeannette Sloniowsk
Abstract: A study of the postwar French crime procedural (or policier), using the perspective of American-versus-French entertainment models to understand the pleasures and textual allure of the heist setpiece. Long overlooked or ignored by film historians, the popular sector of postwar French cinema actually offers evidence of France's film stylisticians at their most refined and self-reflexive. In fact, the central heist robbery sequence of the policier genre is akin, this chapter argues, to the most elegant of classical Hollywood's musical numbers.
Year: 2017
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Publisher's website
Access Model: Purchase only
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Book Title: The Best Laid Plans Interrogating the Heist Film
ISBN: 978-0814342244

Memory and Recall in French Cinema of the Fourth Republic (1946-1958) (Book Section)
Title: Memory and Recall in French Cinema of the Fourth Republic (1946-1958)
Author: Tim Palmer
Editor: Nancy Membrez
Abstract: This chapter considers the lost generation of postwar French film short filmmakers, essayists and documentarians, whose work probed issues of national memory and remembrance. The account favors especially those women film practitioners (notably Yannick Bellon and Jacqueline Jacoupy) whose work has been written out of traditional film histories. Surveying a decade of postwar French film, the chapter analyzes how representative filmmakers (Bellon, Alain Resnais, Rene Vautier, and others) created exposes of memory, either focused on individuals (like the artist Colette) or regions (like the Aubervillier district of Paris) or forbidden zones (France's colonialist holdings in then-French West Africa) could be revived, represented, and belatedly debated on-screen.
Year: 2019
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Publisher's website listing (book forthcoming as of March 2019)
Access Model: Purchase only (book)
Publisher: McFarland
Book Title: Memory in World Cinema
ISBN: 978-1-4766-760