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History, legend and memory in John Sayles’ Lone Star

through the community’s ‘stratigraphic landscape’, that ‘conceives historical understanding as an after-life of that which is understood, whose pulse can still be felt in the present’. 4 Through these acts of retrieval, Sayles’ film can be seen as in dialogue with the ‘culture wars’ debates of the 1980s–90s in which issues of identity politics, multiculturalism and the

in Memory and popular film
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Memory and popular film

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. While, in representational terms, the past has been figured in variations of the history film, the costume drama and the heritage picture from early cinema to the present, rituals of remembrance have come to surround the culture of film. Whether in the

in Memory and popular film
Art, authorship and activism

This book charts and analyses the work of Oliver Stone – arguably one of the foremost political filmmakers in Hollywood during the last thirty years. Drawing on previously unseen production files from Oliver Stone’s personal archives and hours of interviews both with Stone and a range of present and former associates within the industry, the book employs a thematic structure to explore Stone’s life and work in terms of war, politics, money, love and corporations. This allows the authors both to provide a synthesis of earlier and later film work as well as locate that work within Stone’s developing critique of government. The book explores the development of aesthetic changes in Stone’s filmmaking and locates those changes within ongoing academic debates about the relationship between film and history as well as wider debates about Hollywood and the film industry. All of this is explored with detailed reference to the films themselves and related to a set of wider concerns that Stone has sought to grapple with -the American Century, exceptionalism and the American Dream, global empire, government surveillance and corporate accountability. The book concludes with a perspective on Stone’s ‘brand’ as not just an auteur and commercially viable independent filmmaker but as an activist arguing for a very distinct kind of American exceptionalism that seeks a positive role for the US globally whilst eschewing military adventurism.

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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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contemporary technological changes as manifested in cinema. While its new technical and stylistic possibilities suggested an early potential to contribute to political or aesthetic innovation, cinema actually carried the burden of memory in modernity. In fact, it shouldn’t surprise that one of the key transformations cinema wrought involved the restructuring and revising of retrospection

in Memory and popular film
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The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture

memories themselves become a challenge to the ‘total possession’ of private property. Perhaps more than in any other realm, the political potential of prosthetic memory has been explored in science fiction film. In Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall , a film with a much more sanguine attitude towards memory than Strange Days , Quade (Arnold Schwarzeneggar), the protagonist, has a life-long dream of visiting

in Memory and popular film
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Pleasantville and the textuality of media memory

’, editorials in New York , The New Republic , The Chicago Tribune , Time and Newsweek spoke throughout 1991 of a new intolerance within universities and in cultural life more generally. The bogey of ‘political correctness’ became the touch-point for news stories about the tyrannies of the ‘loony’ left. 20

in Memory and popular film
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it access to a far greater audience.39 CARA set a marker with Pakula’s Watergate story that stretched the cultural and political significance of films about American public and institutional life. Common factors such as loyalty, betrayal, conspiracy and malfeasance, allied to a strong star presence and fashioned by real events, ensured that All the President’s Men would remain iconic and vital as a political film long after its time, and others of the time clung to its coat-​tails. Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View and especially Francis Ford Coppola

in The cinema of Oliver Stone

There was probably never a book by a great humorist, and an artist so prolific in the conception of character, with so little humour and so few rememberable figures. Its merits lie elsewhere. (John Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens (1872)) R ALPH

in British cinema of the 1950s
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adventure; but his experience, not just of combat but also of his return to a country that was already openly divided about the war, altered his perspective and the direction of his life. Enrolment at film school under the GI Bill seemed to offer a way of expressing his anger and disillusionment, and the same determination that had kept him alive in South-​East Asia now drove him on to try and tell something of that experience on film. Even as he took his place in the Hollywood firmament, the subject did not need to be Th e ci nem a of Ol iver   S to ne 232 Vietnam to

in The cinema of Oliver Stone