Student Profile

Annabelle Doherty


Doctor of Philosophy

Thesis Title

French Heritage Film and Cinematic Cultural Memory


Dr Michelle Royer

Thesis Abstract

My thesis considers how French heritage film encourages collective audiences to form a cinematic cultural memory of France’s history by combining the audio-visual sensuality of its cinematographic language with the genre’s vivid and unique reconstitution of the past. My methodology combines textual theories of contextuality and intertextuality with theories of the corporeal and embodiment effect in cinema. I focus on three key areas of aesthetics in filmic language: auteurism, the role of the auteur; stardom, the influence of the star; and technology, comparing digital heritage cinema to pre-digital heritage and the historical dramas of silent film, early sound and classic French cinema. My research investigates how auteurism, stardom and technology in French heritage film impact the realism or authenticity of the reconstitution of French history and subsequently the filmic memory acquired by spectators. My case studies include: Madame Bovary, Camille Claudel, La Reine Margot and A Very Long Engagement.

Professional and/or Community Engagement

Co-ordinated Birkbeck French Cinema Club during undergraduate BA French degree at the University of London
Alliance Française French Film Festival Regular Attendee

Conference Presentations

Annabelle Doherty, “Digital Tableaux of Cinematic Cultural Memory in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s A Very Long Engagement” (paper presented at Australian Society of French Studies, University of Sydney, September 2010)

Annabelle Doherty, “Superimposition and Cultural Memory in Claude Chabrol’s and Jean Renoir’s Adaptations of Madame Bovary” (paper presented at Studies in French Cinema, Kings College, London, April 2011)

Annabelle Doherty, “Digital Tableaux of Cinematic Cultural Memory in the French Heritage Film: Un long dimanche de fiançailles”, Australian Journal of French Studies 49.2 (2012): 196-207.