This chapter presents some closing thoughts of the concepts discussed in the book. By focusing on the issue of auteurism in the introduction to this book, other parallels and intersections between the films of Assayas, Audiard, the Dardenne brothers, Haneke and Ozon have been left unmentioned. One is that the long-standing binary opposition between 'European' (for which read 'art-house') and genre cinema is thoroughly deconstructed in the work of these directors, who have proved themselves able to master generic conventions and manipulate them to their own ends, while still respecting the power of genre as a means of communicating with the audience. The most striking common ground occupied by some of this group of directors is the attention to ethical and political concerns that so profoundly marks the cinema of the Dardenne brothers and Haneke, and is arguably present in the complex patternings of desire in Ozon's films.
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.