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.
From inside the book
Results 1-3 of 66
In the eighties , the Latin American policeman - torturer has taken over as the villain for the Nazi of the fifties , the fat Southern Sheriff of the sixties and early seventies ( in the Smokey and the Bandit films ) , and the corporate ...
9 Flex's ambivalence is exactly the reason that , first , the nuclear freeze movement of the early eighties and , then , the nuclear disarmament movement of the late eighties ( which gained momentum from the ascension to power of ...
From the dominance of the American Cowboy movie star personality cult of Ronald Reagan in the early eighties , the world audience shifted its allegiance to the gradual rise to stardom of the Russian personality cult of Gorbachev in the ...
What people are saying - Write a review
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
6 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
Common terms and phrases
References to this book
The Drunken Journalist: The Biography of a Film Stereotype
Snippet view - 2000