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.
narration in which Hamlet the proto-intellectual will clarify the act of sovereign
succession and rewrite the oﬃcialhistory. Yet Hamlet’s ‘excessively goal-orientated
consciousness’ (in terms of theatre direction at least), ensures that both prior to and
during ‘The Mousetrap’ itself, in casting himself as a ‘minor’ dramatist he unwittingly
emerges as what Deleuze might term a ‘despot of the invariant’.53 Because Hamlet
approaches adaptation from a homogenised perspective there is no allowance for the
recursive ‘catch’ of ‘The Mousetrap’ or the surprise of the ‘power of
History, legend and memory in John Sayles’ Lone Star
make sculptures), one comments, ‘You live in a place, you should
learn something about it’. In their archaeological resurrection of
the ‘buried’ and ‘forgotten’ they set the tone
for the film’s interest in sites of memory and their relationships
to officialhistory, as well as to its critique and expansion via
‘learning’ about place through its stories and uncovered
, Gentrification and the enterprise culture, p. 112.
8 Dai Smith and Gareth Williams, Fields of praise: the officialhistory of the Welsh rugby
union 1881–1981 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1980); Martin Johnes, Soccer
and society: South Wales, 1900–1939 (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2002);
Grant Jarvie and Graham Walker (eds), Scottish sport in the making of the nation:
ninety minute patriots (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1994); Jack Sugden and
A. Bairner, Sport, sectarianism and society in a divided Ireland (Leicester: Leicester
), pp. 2–3.
2 The Manchester Guardian , “Chemicals in war”, 25 May 1945, p. 4.
3 Kiely, Politics of Labour ; R. Kiely, Industrialisation and Development: A Comparative Analysis (London: UCL Press, 1998); H. W. Arndt, Economic Development: The History of an Idea (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987).
4 S. Constantine, The Making of British Colonial Development Policy (London: Maurice Temple Smith, 1984), ch. 7; D. J. Morgan, The OfficialHistory of Colonial Development (London
as C.F.G. Masterman’s,
and officialhistories, military or otherwise, of the war that were bound to
appear in the years to come. ‘But the real history’, the review predicted, ‘the
one that men and women will want, will be something quite different. It will be
the record, broken, perplexed and partial of what individual soldiers were really thinking and feeling; the reflection and refraction of the tragedy in human
souls.’29 This book has attempted to put a mirror to the soul of the war as it
triggered responses within men and women possessed of certain aesthetic
way of making use of this biographical knowledge is to bring to a
pleasing union the conjectural history we have been viewing and the
officialhistory we had been familiar with beforehand. For example,
perhaps the greatest surprise of both Elizabeth and The
Tudors had been that the monarchs looked nothing like we had
expected, with a young and beautiful Elizabeth and a thin and beardless
1 The Times , “Marines landed at Trinidad: disorders spreading” (23 June 1937), p. 15.
2 The Times , “Another warship at Trinidad, three strikers shot” (26 June 1937), p. 13.
3 Constantine, British Colonial Development Policy ; Havinden and Meredith, Colonialism and Development ; Morgan, OfficialHistory of Colonial Development ; Butler, Industrialisation .
4 Bolland, On the March
everyday. Thinking of the ironies, and subversions of
‘official’ history in Mistry’s novels, one is reminded of Cedric
Watts’s comments on the uses of satire in Conrad’s The Secret
Agent, one of Mistry’s apparent templates for Such a Long
Journey. Watts says:
In the satiric tradition, representations of vice and folly are
heightened; the reader expects not a faithfully complex
rendering of reality, but a selective and distorted rendition
vindicated by the resultant intensity and magnification of
some salient features of actuality. Corruption looms comically large
Civil Series of the officialHistory of
the Second World War, and published in 1950. Titmuss examined
the strains of evacuation and air raids and concluded that pre-war
fears of mass panic, mental breakdown and social disorder were
wholly confounded; rather, the behaviour of the civilian population was consistent with mental resilience and a strong capacity to
adjust to changed circumstances, even when these brought mortal
danger, major disruption to living patterns and multiple daily
stresses.8 In confining his observations on civilian morale to the