This paper was delivered as part of a panel on “Pop Music and Memory,” sponsored by the Sound Studies Scholarly Interest Group at the 2012 Society of Cinema and Media Studies Conference. Professor Jeff Smith, the esteemed figure in Hollywood soundtrack studies, served as the panel respondent.
This presentation examined Reagan Era films that utilized 1950s popular music on their soundtracks to critique or undermine the commodification and depoliticization of Oldies. This, I argued, serves as just one illustration of the complexity and diversity of uses for nostalgia in the 1980s, outside and against the dominant “Reagan Era” narratives that so easily come to mind. The presentation focused especially on the David Lynch film Blue Velvet and the John Waters hit Hairspray.
The full text & accompanying slides are available HERE. Use the password ‘arcadia2013.’