The Films of the Eighties: A Social History
Southern Illinois University Press, 1993 - 335 pages
In this remarkable sequel to his Films of the Seventies: A Social History, William J. Palmer examines more than three hundred films as texts that represent, revise, parody, comment upon, and generate discussion about major events, issues, and social trends of the eighties.
Palmer defines the dialectic between film art and social history, taking as his theoretical model the "holograph of history" that originated from the New Historicist theories of Hayden White and Dominick LaCapra. Combining the interests and methodologies of social history and film criticism, Palmer contends that film is a socially conscious interpreter and commentator upon the issues of contemporary social history. In the eighties, such issues included the war in Vietnam, the preservation of the American farm, terrorism, nuclear holocaust, changes in Soviet-American relations, neoconservative feminism, and yuppies.
Among the films Palmer examines are Platoon, The Killing Fields, The River, Out of Africa, Little Drummer Girl, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Silkwood, The Day After, Red Dawn, Moscow on the Hudson, Troop Beverly Hills, and Fatal Attraction. Utilizing the principles of New Historicism, Palmer demonstrates that film can analyze and critique history as well as present it.
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... America , but his point speaks to the power of film to present America . American films define the temper of American society in the time of their time . There is no better example of this manipulation of message by means of the ...
... America's new racism , is the exception rather than the rule of eighties film representations of the racial hatred that grew out of the Vietnam War . Throughout the eighties , the new racism toward Orientals in American society did not ...
... Americans , it was the holding hostage of the American nation by Iran . It signaled the beginning of the age of international governmental terrorism . A New York Times analysis in late 1983 declares that year's escalation of Middle East ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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