This final chapter of this book presents some closing thoughts on the key
concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of the book. The work of
Marguerite Duras, both in literature and in film, distinguishes itself by
its oblique, elusive quality which evokes her protagonists' inner
landscape instead of dwelling on the appearances of the external world.
While Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Lover presumably owes its
popularity partly to the fact that it conforms to the dominant codes of
representation, it undermines the cinematographic writing of Duras's
own films and their emphasis on verbal and vocal as well as visual forms of
expression. Her other films, however, have retained their magical timeless
quality as the breathtaking beauty of the images in Aurélia Steiner
(Melbourne) or in Le Navire Night merge with the haunting echoes
of her voices and her music to create an unusually powerful viewing
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.