This chapter talks about constructing subjectivity in the absence of the father and the mother. By reducing subjectivity to a fixed gendered entity (as masculine or feminine), dominant ideology (patriarchy) normalises away questions of power relations. The chapter investigates the issues of transgressive 'child' and absent parent in Luc Besson's films and is going to do so through the triple-optic of genre and gender construction, regression and pathology, resistance and power relations. It first considers the genres that Besson's films exemplify. It is noteworthy that in the main his films are hybrid genres. Thus Subway is a musical and a thriller. Léon is a thriller and a melodrama. Nikita is a film noir and a futurist fantasy. Only Le Dernier Combat and Le Grand Bleu appear to be single generic types.
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.