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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8 Late - twentieth - century historicism needs to define itself as a discourse of critical interpretation as well as antiquarian preservation , as a discourse of relativist contextualizing as well as mononarrative backgrounding , as a ...
This whole cluster of time - travel movies embody Hayden White's concepts of a “ metahistory that can go back and by means of critical reinterpretation change the meaning of history . Themes like this concept of self - reflexivity form ...
In the Eighties , the conventional critical wisdom was that American movies no longer reflect real life , that they offer only teen comedy , derring - do , gross - out horror , and special effects - in a word , escape .
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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