Open Access (free)
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.

Sarah Easen

Director General of the Festival, Gerald Barry, promised ‘a year of fun, fantasy and colour’, an interlude of ‘fun and games’ after the long run of wartime austerity. 1 Film was integral to the Festival of Britain. It related to the Festival’s three main areas of concern, the arts, industry and science. Britain’s role in international film culture had already been established by the growth of the British

in British cinema of the 1950s
Paul Henley

The half-century running from the mid-1890s, when moving image camera technology was first developed, to the period of the Second World War in the 1940s constitutes over a third of the total time-span of ethnographic film-making. This was a period of tentative beginnings, sporadic activity and blurred genres. Though a large number of films made during this period could be said to possess a certain degree of ‘ethnographicness’ – as defined in the General Introduction to this book – many of these were not produced by academic film-makers, but by

in Beyond observation
Open Access (free)
Theoretical debates and the critical erasure of Beckett’s cinema
Matthijs Engelberts

9 From Film to literature: theoretical debates and the critical erasure of Beckett’s cinema Matthijs Engelberts In an age in which belief in metanarratives and the stark oppositions upon which they tend to rely is thought to be dwindling in postmodern societies, and identities are increasingly perceived as constructed, heterogeneous and porous, it is no wonder that contemporary theory no longer forcefully opposes word and image as two radically distinct entities. The study of the relations between literature and film, for instance, no longer seeks to find new

in Beckett and nothing
Isabel Quigly

wonderful way of earning, not perhaps a living, but at least a crust. Soon afterwards I was asked, out of the blue, to be film critic of the Spectator , and entered what now seems a very foreign country indeed, the film world of the 1950s, in which I stayed for ten years. It was a past separated from us today not just by the changes in films and film-making, but by the social upheavals between then and now

in British cinema of the 1950s
Paul Henley

Compared with the films produced by academic anthropologists, which were modest in both scope and technical complexity, or even with those produced for museums or for empire- and nation-building purposes, the films of ethnographic interest made during the first half of the twentieth century by film-makers working for commercial production companies were generally much more imaginative and technically accomplished. In order to make their films accessible to a popular audience, far from eschewing authorship, as anthropologists of the period

in Beyond observation
Paul Henley

The ‘less-than-happy marriage’: the academic reception of television ethnography For a period of some twenty-five years, from the late 1960s until the mid-1990s, the television patronage of ethnographic film-making served to give academic anthropology a public profile in Britain that it had not previously enjoyed and, arguably, has not enjoyed since. Although little more than anecdotal, there is some evidence to support the view that during this period the presentation of the work of anthropologists on television served to

in Beyond observation
Paul Henley

The origins of ethnographic film sponsorship by British television Prior to its sponsorship by television, ethnographic film-making in Britain was almost non-existent. Since the pioneering work of Haddon and Spencer at the turn of the twentieth century, the number of British anthropologists who had taken moving image cameras with them to the field had been very few, and even those that had done so, had generally used them not to make documentaries as such, but rather for documentation purposes. Facilities and support for

in Beyond observation
Robert Burgoyne

Bernardo Bertolucci once said in an interview that the cinema ‘is the language through which reality expresses itself . . . to create the language of the cinema, more than with any other form of expression, you have first to put your camera in front of reality, because cinema is made of reality’. 1 He also said that every film is a documentary, including fiction films, for every film carries within

in Memory and popular film
The Pony Express at the Diamond Jubilee
Heidi Kenaga

), Paramount’s The Vanishing American (1925) and a Goldwyn production distributed by United Artists, The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926). Despite their popularity and central position in the studios’ production strategies during the mid-1920s, these movies remain underexamined in film studies literature. 3 George Fenin and William Everson, for example, argue that The Pony

in Memory and popular film