As a technology able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of memory in modern cultural life. The memory of film scenes and movies screens, cinema and cinema-going, has become integral to the placement and location of film within the cultural imagination of this century and the last. This book is a sustained, interdisciplinary perspective on memory and film from early cinema to the present. The first section examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The second section examines the politics of memory in a series of chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. The book explores the articulation of Vietnam. The final section concentrates on the issue of mediation; it explores how technological and semiotic shifts in the cultural terrain have influenced the coding and experience of memory in contemporary cinema. It considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory. The book also examines the stakes of cultural remembering in the United States and the means by which memory has been figured through Hollywood cinema.
perhaps that memory is never
straightforwardly authentic or inauthentic. Spielberg’s film was
mortgaged to a notion of authenticity that relied as much upon mediatedmemories – notably, the ranging registers of black and white
photography and the various scenes and images that evoked previous films
about the Holocaust – as it did upon the use of genuine Polish film
locations or the presence of living Holocaust survivors. While
that is, how the styles of the past provide a powerful means through
which a film can be branded and marketed to audiences. Often ignored in
this process is the deployment of film music, and hence this chapter
will focus in particular on the use of music as a significant means
through which memories of the past may be evoked in the present.
As many of the chapters in this book