Re-framing the Films of Jacques Feyder: Domestic Space and the Melodramatic Tradition in Pension Mimosas
(at time of presentation)
Barry Nevin is Assistant Lecturer in French at the Dublin Institute of Technology and Visiting Research Assistant in Film Studies at Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded his PhD in French Studies by the National University of Ireland, Galway, in 2015. He previously lectured at NUI Galway and l'Université de Bretagne-Sud, Lorient, and fulfilled a Visiting Researcher Scholarship at the University of California in 2013. His research interests centre on French cinema of the interwar period and Gilles Deleuze's film philosophy. His work has previously been published in journals including "Studies in French Cinema" and "Urban Cultural Studies". He is currently completing a monograph examining temporality in Renoir's films for Edinburgh University Press (forthcoming 2018). A second monograph which aims to reassess the career of Jacques Feyder is under contract to Manchester University Press.
Jacques Feyder (1885–1948) ranked during the 1920s and 1930s as one of France's most critically acclaimed and financially successful directors, and contributed to major national genres including the French colonial epic and poetic realism. However, the diversity of his output and his apparent lack of any stylistic signature incurred the wrath of the French New Wave critics, who aligned Feyder's work with the tradition de qualité.
The aim of this paper is two-fold: first, outlining Feyder's career and films, it suggests the reasons for the persistent neglect of Feyder's work within current studies in French cinema; second, it traces continuities in Feyder's work, arguing that he was, in fact, a socially engaged auteur whose films audaciously question core national structures including family, class and colonialism.