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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The machine - gun and suitcase bomb attacks of the seventies against international airports were , in the eighties ... This hijacking was attributed to the same group that carried out the Beirut Marine barracks bombing in 1983 and ...
A German courier delivers the suitcase bomb in the opening scene of the film . A Red Brigades motorcyclist picks up the car that Charlie delivers . Charlie gets her terrorist training in a Palestinian refugee camp .
Fittingly , he orders his terrorist pawn Verloc to bomb the Greenwich Observatory . The Chuck Norris shoot - em - up Invasion USA ( 1985 ) is perhaps the best example of this action film exploitation of the terrorist scenario .
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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