Jean Palardy (1905-1991)

We often forget that Jean Palardy, in addition to being a painter and art historian, was a camera operator and film director at the National Film Board, where he started work in 1942. Although the films he made there were assigned to him, some of them enabled him to demonstrate his talent. Social and ethnographic topics interested him: agronomy, the cooperative movement, etc. Two titles in this vein stand out from the rest: Les Caisses populaires Desjardins (1945) and Marée montante (1949). Palardy put his artistic background and ethnographic knowledge of Quebec to use in several films on popular art and culture. Over time, these films have acquired immense archival value, particularly when they show people working. Some of these films include Peintres populaires de Charlevoix (1946), Artisans du fer (1951) and Correlieu (1959), about the painter Ozias Leduc. Palardy is also known for a film for young people, Ti-Jean s’en va-t-aux chantiers (1953), which for many years was one of the most requested films in the NFB’s educational and community circuits. Palardy’s work as a camera operator often reveals a remarkable sense of framing and composition.