Bertrand Blier's career began in 1957 as an assistant stagiaire,
as it was still relatively conventional in the French film-making tradition.
This chapter highlights that if we were to focus on the notion of thematic
and stylistic tendencies that are common to the films, then it is possible
to locate his cyclical nature of the narratives in three distinct
categories. The first category is that of the often bawdy comedies, which
rely on the easy camaraderie and sexual fraternity of duos of male
characters, and which document the largely picaresque itinerary of this
genre's classically ambivalent heroes. The second group of films are
the less explicitly comic films with which, excepting Trop helle pour
toi, Blier enjoyed only moderate commercial success. The third category
of films is that of Blier's mature career what Blier himself has termed
his 'seconde carrier.'.
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.