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The ethics and politics of memory in an age of mass culture
Alison Landsberg

Memory is not commonly imagined as a site of possibility for progressive politics. More often, memory, particularly in the form of nostalgia, is condemned for its solipsistic nature, for its tendency to draw people into the past instead of the present. This is the case, for example, in Kathryn Bigelow’s 1995 film Strange Days , in which the use of memory – usually another

in Memory and popular film
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La mala educación
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

of the events are retellings, representations or fictional reinventions, which make the plot fiendishly complex. Almodóvar has spoken about the difficulties he had with the script, which went through twenty drafts (Almodóvar, quoted in Strauss, 2006 : 214). This complexity is not gratuitous, however; it partakes of an aesthetic common to Spanish films and literature about the repression of historical memory and the Spanish Transition. La mala educación is a film about the Transition that takes this aesthetic to breaking point. It harnesses it to place LGBTQ

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
Open Access (free)

As a technology able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of memory in modern cultural life. The memory of film scenes and movies screens, cinema and cinema-going, has become integral to the placement and location of film within the cultural imagination of this century and the last. This book is a sustained, interdisciplinary perspective on memory and film from early cinema to the present. The first section 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 second section examines the politics of memory in a series of chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. The book explores the articulation of Vietnam. The final section concentrates on the issue of mediation; it explores how technological and semiotic shifts in the cultural terrain have influenced the coding and experience of memory in contemporary cinema. It 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. The book also examines the stakes of cultural remembering in the United States and the means by which memory has been figured through Hollywood cinema.

Mourning and melodrama in Para que no me olvides (2005) by Patricia Ferreira
Isolina Ballesteros

Coinciding with the excavations of the Spanish Civil War’s mass graves (that began in 2000) film and the mass media are playing a crucial role in the construction and dissemination of ‘spaces of memory’ of the war that intend to compensate for the willed amnesia that characterised both the Franco dictatorship and the post-Franco years. 1 Spanish women filmmakers are documenting this public

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
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Alison Smith

of its treatment of memory and the uses of the past. Here we shall be concerned with the way in which the film treats the question of spectacle and performance, and its relation to direct experience. Jacquot is a film obsessed with spectacle. From the credit sequence we are introduced into a theatrical world, albeit one which is turned on its head. The film begins with the final curtain of a play

in Agnès Varda
Sous les pieds des femmes and Vivre au paradis
Carrie Tarr

. I take it as axiomatic that fictionalised cinematic representations of the past are less concerned with historical accuracy than with appropriating aspects of the past to serve the needs of the present. Whether based on memories of lived experiences or on the research and imagination of cultural entrepreneurs, they act as potential ‘vectors of memory’ (Wood 1999 : 6), fashioning popular understandings of history and thereby contributing to a sense of collective identity

in Reframing difference
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From lost sites to reclaimed images
Guy Austin

identity is to have recourse to memory, particularly the memory of origins. In independent Algeria, official memory has remained fixated on the war against the French. This makes it all the more important to look beyond the anti-colonial struggle and the FLN’s mythologising of the Algerian revolution as the founding moment of national identity. While history seems to begin in 1954 for the FLN, the pre-colonial epoch may be excavated for a

in Algerian national cinema
Parvati Nair
Julián Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla

Part I Memory and history According to the philosopher Paul Ricœur, ‘narrative attains its full significance when it becomes a condition of temporal existence’ (1984: 52). In stating this, Ricœur foregrounds the importance of history and memory, the two narrative routes that assist and orient our navigation through time. Unlike certain other philosophers, such as Hegel, Ricœur did not, in fact, see

in Hispanic and Lusophone women filmmakers
Carne trémula
Ana María Sánchez-Arce

reconstructs the past, replacing memories that simulate first-hand experience. This has been called ‘prosthetic memory’. As Pam Cook explains, exercises in ‘prosthetic memory’ lay themselves open to charges of lack of authenticity, of substituting a popular version for the ‘real’ event, and to accusations that presenting history as dramatic spectacle they obscure our understanding of social, political and cultural forces. … Yet, in the very act of addressing audiences as nostalgic spectators and encouraging them to become involved in re-presenting the past, the media

in The cinema of Pedro Almodóvar
From Vietnam to the war in the Persian Gulf
John Storey

In this chapter I want to explore, within a context of culture and power, the complex relations between memory and desire. 1 More specifically, I want to connect 1980s Hollywood representations of America’s war in Vietnam (what I will call ‘Hollywood’s Vietnam’) with George Bush’s campaign, in late 1990 and early 1991, to win support for US involvement

in Memory and popular film