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Dr Michael Temple

  • Overview



    Michael Temple is Reader in Film and Media, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, where he teaches courses on Film History, Film Theory, Documentary Film, French Cinema, and Film Curating.

    He is also Director of Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Essay Film Festival. BIMI, a research institute housed in Birkbeck Cinema, curates around 60-70 public screenings and discussion events per year, bringing together artists, academics, and activists from a diverse range of disciplines and practices. The Essay Film Festival is an internationally recognised, research-led festival, devoted to exploring and exhibiting both contemporary and archival essayistic works in film and related media, from around the globe.

  • Research


    Research interests

    • Film History
    • Audiovisual histories of cinema
    • Film curating
    • History of film criticism
    • Essay film
    • Documentary
    • French Cinema

    Research overview

    My research interests are principally in the history of cinema and film curating.

    Film history: I have mainly worked on French cinema, but I have also done research on “audiovisual film history”, documentary cinema, and the essay film, thus developing my profile towards transnational and intermedial research in film and television.

    Film curating: a significant practical aspect of my research has involved film programming, including film festivals, as well as organising and promoting research-led film events at various cultural institutions in UK and internationally. This practical dimension of my research has developed specifically in the context of my role as Director of Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Essay Film Festival.

    Current projects: two book projects, one on the Essay Film, the other on Jean-Luc Godard.

    Curatorial projects include continuing with EFF, and archiving (and presenting more effectively) some of the work done at BIMI and the festival since 2014-15.

  • Supervision and teaching

    Supervision and teaching


    I welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students who are interested in undertaking research in any of my areas of research interest. 

    Current doctoral researchers


    Doctoral alumni since 2013-14



    Teaching modules

    • Shaping Contemporary Film Culture A: The Essay Film and the Archive (ARMC197H7)
    • Working with the Film Camera (ARMC240S4)
    • Film Theory: Key Concepts and Contexts (ARMC250S5)
    • Approaches to Cinema History (FFME020S5)
    • Documentary (FFME063S5)
    • French Cinema: History, Practice, Analysis (LNLN027S5)
  • Publications




    Book Section