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Editor: Paul Grainge

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.

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Memory and popular film

national purity and tradition by ‘alien’ elements and ideologies – was addressed in the public history films and commemoration pictures examined by Roberta E. Pearson and Heidi Kenaga in this book, Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990) and Memento (2000) demonstrate a more contemporary concern with the unsettled boundaries between reality and simulation in the constitution of remembered identity and experience. If

in Memory and popular film
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collective writing of the American Constitution, or the strange call for a civil religion of Constitution-worship advanced by Abraham Lincoln in his speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum in Springfield in 1838. (By the way, I do not think the secrecy of the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia were much more than a consequence of the Thermidor-like quality, the self

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism

gossiping about others. This involves a much deeper interpretation of democratic relations than that found in much political thought today. With relation to the political analogy discussed by Dienstag, the moral would be to stop watching others making a constitution and then limit our involvement to merely moaning about it, but to get involved in making our own constitution, to push

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
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films to violate it either. The play theory of language, it seems to me, gives expression to a crucial element of Rousseau’s theory of human equality. We are not equal by virtue of God’s fiat, nor by some biological fact about our physical constitution. Neither are we unequal by such measures. Rather, we are equal politically by virtue of our mutual constitution of one another as

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
Letter to M. Cavell about cinema (a remake)

signifies anything at all? Not to be of your opinion on some of these points is to make myself clear enough about the others. Of no less importance: what are the ties – economic, moral, erotic – which make possible the constitution and continuous reconstitution of a people as such from an assortment or multitude of humans? And at what cost to their souls

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism
A reply from Saturday Night to Mr. Dienstag

rise to the Constitution were done behind closed doors and in secret and could not have been exposed to the open. 26 “ The Philadelphia Story rewards, punishes and amplifies our desire to see what goes on within Independence Hall, our unrequitable desire to see the sources of our own independence (p. 26).” As you continue, you point out that, despite all the films that we

in Cinema, democracy and perfectionism

alongside Lean, Cavalcanti and John Guillermin. For Durgnat’s views on World War II films one has to flit between ‘Tunes of Bogey’, ‘The Lukewarm Life’, ‘System as Stalemate’, ‘The Doctored Documentary’, ‘Stresses and Strains’, ‘The Glum and the Guilty’, ‘Gangrene – British Style’ and ‘The British Constitution’. What one finds is valuable and interesting and uncontaminated by the

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Memories of cinema-going in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood

emerge, based upon organising themes, images and memory topics. In his book, How Societies Remember , Paul Connerton offers a persuasive account of the ways in which societal frameworks mould not only the form but also the content of social memory. 9 The case of personal cinema memory, situated in the public realm of the local press, foregrounds a number of issues about the constitution of memory and

in Memory and popular film
Open Access (free)
Fixing the past in English war films

the London Blitzkrieg ), T.S. Eliot spoke of the mutual opponents in the English Civil War as afterwards ‘accepting the constitution of silence’ and as being ‘enfolded in a single symbol’. This is the necessary, not-always-accomplished restoration and reparation at the heart of narrative history. One might say that such reparation remains uneffected for the 1917 revolution and civil war in Russia

in British cinema of the 1950s