This chapter investigates Catherine Deneuve's films of the 1970s; their role in shaping her star persona and the ways in which they position Deneuve in relation to French political culture. It argues that Deneuve's inconsistent approach to feminist issues during the 1970s can be seen as a metonymical of the wider contradictions inherent to France's political culture during this decade, specifically in terms of the conflict that existed between liberalism and conservatism. France and its government's contradictory approach towards the condition of women's lives during the 1970s will provide a contextual background to Deneuve's own engagement with feminist discourses during this decade. The chapter explores the diversity of Deneuve's 1970s filmography through three key films: A nous deux, Courage fuyons and Zig zig. It also considers how Deneuve's contradictory star persona manifests itself within these films, and how each text might signal varying degrees of anti-feminism.
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.