Profiles of Catherine Deneuve in film magazines such as Les Inrockuptibles and Première praise her adaptability, as they enumerate the many directors and co-stars she has worked with. In contrast, Deneuve's fashion persona is overwhelmingly identified with Yves Saint Laurent, with articles tracing the way she has worn his clothes throughout her life, such as In Style featuring her wearing Saint Laurent clothing to the Oscars in 1993 or while arriving in the south of France in 1968 to begin filming La Sirene du Mississippi/Mississippi Mermaid. This chapter is especially interested then in why it is that while Deneuve's cinematic star persona is noticeable for its flexibility, her fashion icon persona remains remarkably consistent, a play on words that recounts her most famous film role and turns it into a celebration of her beauty and longevity outside of that filmic sphere.
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.