Sexual desire as represented by François Ozon is almost always multidimensional and consistently astonishing in its capacity for boundless reinvention. Ozon's films explore ideas around radically 'unlawful' sexualities that are often reminiscent of writers like the Marquis de Sade, the Comte de Lautréamont, and Georges Bataille. Ozon made the 13-minute film Victor in 1993, his graduating piece from the prestigious Paris film school FEMIS. Ozon made the 26-minute film La Petite Mort in 1995, and it can, in many ways, be read as a longer and less grotesque exploration of the themes already raised by Victor. The two shorts Une Rose entre nous and Une Robe d'été explore the challenge to grow via the unforeseen exposure to radically new experiences of one's own desire and subjectivity in a far lighter manner than either Victor or La Petite Mort.
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.