The third chapter addresses Garrel’s narrative period (1979–1988), which
begins with the confessional film L’Enfant secret. It explores the
relationship between Garrel’s autobiographical approaches and Surrealism,
especially the writings of André Breton, with whom the director expresses a
strong affinity. A second aspect assesses Garrel’s role as historian. Two
films from this period – Elle a passé tant d’heures sous les sunlights
(1985) and Les Ministères de l’art (1989) – directly invoke the lives and
works of other film-makers of Garrel’s generation. The chapter considers how
Garrel integrates the personal histories of directors such as Jean Eustache,
Chantal Akerman and Jacques Doillon with a broader history of a loose
cinematic school that evolved in the aftermath of the New Wave.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers memory as a specific framework for the study of popular film, intervening in growing debates about the status and function of memory in cultural life and discourse. It 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 book explores the political stakes of cinematic discourse in its production of national memory. It also examines the discursive and institutional apparatus that has come to support the memory of Classic Hollywood in British cultural life. The book also 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.