From Mildred Pierce and Brief Encounter to Raging Bull and In the Mood for Love, this lively and accessible collection explores film culture's obsession with the past, offering searching and provocative analyses of a wide range of titles.
Screening the Past engages with current debates about the role of cinema in mediating history through memory and nostalgia, suggesting that many films use strategies of memory to produce diverse forms of knowledge which challenge established ideas of history, and the traditional role of historians.
Classic essays sit side by side with new research, contextualized by introductions which bring them up to date, and provide suggestions for further reading as the work of contemporary directors such as Martin Scorsese, Kathryn Bigelow, Todd Haynes and Wong Kar-wai is used to examine the different ways they deploy creative processes of memory.
Pam Cook also investigates the recent history of film studies, reviewing the developments that have culminated in the exciting, if daunting, present moment. The result is a rich and stimulating volume that will appeal to anyone with an interest in cinema, memory and identity.
Table of Contents
Rethinking Nostalgia: In the Mood for Love and Far from Heaven. Section 1: Reviewing the Past: History, Gender and Genrec Introduction. Duplicity in Mildred Pierce. Women and the Western. The Pleasures and Perils of Exploitation Films. Section 2: History and Memory in Popular British Cinema. Introduction. Melodrama and the Women's Picture. Mandy: Daughter of Transition. Memory in British Cinema: Brief Encounters Section 3: Stars, Iconoclasm and Identification. Introduction. Stars and Politics. The Gold Diggers. No Fixed Address: The Women's Picture from Outrage to Blue Steel Section 4: Martin Scorsese and Post-classical Nostalgia. Introduction. Masculinity in Crisis? The Last Temptation of Christ. Scorsese's Masquerade . The Age of Innocence Section 5: Reinventing the Past: Costume and Identity. Introduction, Fashion and Sexual Display in 1950s Hollywood. Replicating the Past: Memory and History in Dance with a Stranger. Fictions of Identity: Style, Mimicry and Gender in the Films of Kathryn Bigelow
Pam Cook is Professor of European Film and Media at the University of Southampton. She is co-editor of The Cinema Book (BFI, 1999), and her many publications on film include Fashioning the Nation: Costume and Identity in British Cinema (BFI, 1996) and I Know Where I'm Going! (BFI, 2002)
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