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 rhetoric of Gordon Gekko's deal making is violent and bloodthirsty and seems to emanate more appropriately from the ... He barks the macho language of war on his speaker phones as he triggers his deals : I loved it at 40 , it's an ...
The yuppie dream replaces the human with the purely material , sexuality with money and power . “ See that building over there , ” Gekko brags to Bud Fox . “ It was my first real estate deal . I bought it eight years ago .
That theme of trade - offs , plea bargains , deals , symbolically represents what is wrong with the yuppie lifestyle . In the age of Donald Trump , " the art of the deal ” is the shortcut away from social engagement .
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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