Memory's Orbit

Film and Culture 1999-2000

By Joseph Natoli

Subjects: American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Postmodern Culture
Paperback : 9780791457207, 242 pages, March 2003
Hardcover : 9780791457191, 242 pages, March 2003

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Table of contents

After September 11, 2001

Oxley Holl'r, West Virginia, April 1976

Martha's Vineyard, July 17, 1999

Brooklyn, November 22, 1963

Inside the Matrix, January 3, 2000

Oxley Holl'r, West Virginia, Fall 1975

St. Alban's Naval Hospital, 1966

Outer-Six Theatre, August 1999

Oxley Holl'r, West Virginia, Winter 1977

Staten Island, New York, March 1999

Sleepy Hollow, New York, December 31, 1999

Moriarity's Pub, Fall 1999

On the Set of Oprah, Jerry, Martha and Tony, Spring 1999

Robin Wood Trail, Winter 1999

Time Codes: Brooklyn Heights, Henniker, Bluefield, Irvine, April 2000

New Hampshire, February 2000

Goshen, Indiana, February 4, 2000

The Boiler Room, February 2000

East Lansing, Michigan, March 2000

Oxley Holl'r, West Virginia, Summer 1975

Eden, August 2000

Not Seattle, November 1999

Elsinore Castle, November 7, 2000

In the Ring, October 1999

Brooklyn, Thanksgiving 1953

Orbiting in a Time Machine, October 1, 2000

Long Island, July 1999

Halls of Valhalla, 1999

Leiden, The Netherlands, Spring 1999

Re-orbiting, 1975


Memoir meets cultural criticism in this examination of American popular culture at the end of the century.


Mixing memoir and cultural criticism, Memory's Orbit examines the intersections between a wide range of films and current events, finding its theme and orbiting narrative structure in the personal stories we live within and their relationship to the social and cultural order. Joseph Natoli covers such films as The Matrix, American Beauty, Fight Club, Eyes Wide Shut, and American History X, as well as such headline events as the death of John F. Kennedy Jr. , the dot-com boom, the WTO protests in Seattle, and Bush versus Gore, consistently identifying those aspects of the social order that have shaped his narrating frame. Eschewing theoretical exposition and jargon, Natoli performs postmodern critique, and this book continues his innovative work in the genre of cultural studies.

Joseph Natoli teaches postmodernism and cultural studies at the Center for Integrative Studies/Arts and Humanities, Michigan State University. He is the author or editor of many books, including A Postmodern Reader and Postmodern Journeys: Film and Culture 1996–1998, both published by SUNY Press.