Thomas H. Ince filmed his productions at Inceville in Santa Monica, and the
westerns made at Inceville between 1911 and 1912 were structured on the
single-shot/scene principle. The films that Reginald Barker directed for
Thomas Ince placed considerable emphasis on revealing a character's
internal journey through the use of flexible camera placement and
compositional framing. Cecil B. DeMille is remembered principally as a
director of historical Hollywood costume epics from the 1930s and 1940s.
Films had to look good, and the establishment of mood through fine
photography and lighting was essential to the visual pleasure that was part
of movie-going. But audiences were much more interested in the stories, the
characters, and the stars than in the subtleties of framing, editing and
scene dissection, and the truth is that those aspects of filmmaking passed
wholly unnoticed. They were invisible.
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.