This chapter explores the ways in which, within a geo-ideological analysis of the controversial Channel 4 drama series Queer As Folk, one may view fundamental issues regarding the politics of the representation of gay sexuality. Queer As Folk had its first broadcast in 1999-2000 on Channel 4 television, screened in eight hour-long episodes. A crucial incident in the exploration of the tensions between confrontational and assimilationist strategies comes in the penultimate episode of the second series relating to a secondary character called Alexander. Alexander is constructed in such a way that he embodies the stereotypical attributes of camp, 'feminised' homosexuality. The use of a popular cultural colloquialism, 'kinky sex', is deliberately, ironically provocative. From a dominant reactionary, heterosexual viewing position, homosexuality in and of itself may be viewed as a profoundly disturbing 'kink' or deviation of sexual imagination, conduct and practice.
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.