This chapter seeks to make a modest contribution to the growing body of work on gender and the rural, and more specifically on the relationships between rurality and masculinity. It focuses on two films, which can be seen to be very different in terms of genre, production values and intended audience, but which nevertheless share certain thematics; most notably, in their depictions of urban and rural men. The films are the comedy City Slickers, and the horror movie Hunter's Blood. Reading City Slickers and Hunter's Blood in tandem, there are clear divergences that emerge; the former is more firmly in the sensitive-guy film mould, while the latter belongs more squarely with the humiliation-redemption set. The chapter explains the ways in which City Slickers and Hunter's Blood articulate different modes of masculinity, in relation to rurality.
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.