Pedro Almodóvar's use of music has been duly noted as an essential element of his filmic vision since his films were first analysed in the early 1980s. This chapter focuses on the use of popular song in Almodóvar's films. The use of music in Almodóvar's early films represents a nexus between the director's undeniable affection and nostalgia for the popular culture of the Francoist Spain of his childhood and adolescence, and the camp/kitsch attitude developed within the gay/punk underground, which became la movida. Almodóvar chose the version of exiled Republican Miguel Molina rather than that of some folclórico (folk singer) within the Spain of Franco in keeping with the director's postmodern punk ethos. The opening strains of Miguel Molina singing 'La Bien pagá' can be heard in the background during their 'lovemaking' but the film quickly cuts to an odd image.
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.