Robert and Raymond Hakim gave Diego Buñuel the opportunity of working with Catherine Deneuve on Joseph Kessel's scandalous 1929 novel Belle de jour, a book that caused as much uproar on publication as the first screening of Un chien andalou. The Hakim brothers offered him the luxury of a ten-week working schedule on what was to become only by then his third film in colour. The darker shades of the Deneuve persona are in even greater evidence in Tristana. The juxtaposition of the images of femme fatale and virgin mother recreates the ambivalent treatment of women in western culture. Catherine Deneuve, both as Tristana and as ' Belle de jour', allowed Buñuel to indulge an incurable fascination with the ice-maiden prototype, that incarnation of a fantasy of Olympian pallid aloofness so fitting for demystifying the equivocal sensibilities of the threatened male.
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.