There seems to be no slowing-down in the unceasing instances of the film as a
point of reference, in matters of varied significance. The film clearly
touched on matters of human significance in such ways as account for the
longevity of its place in the culture. It is not just a matter of nostalgia;
and it’s not just because of its moral stance, crucial as that is. It is
also, finally, a superbly crafted piece of filmmaking with some
unforgettable performances and moments of visual and aural power.
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.