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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... early seventies ( in the Smokey and the Bandit films ) , and the corporate executive of the seventies and early eighties . Much darker in its comedy of control terrorism is Terry Gilliam's Brazil ( 1984 ) set in a futuristic ...
... early eighties and , then , the nuclear disarmament movement of the late eighties ( which gained momentum from the ascen- sion to power of Premier Gorbachev in Russia rather than from either the Reagan or Bush administrations in America ) ...
... early eighties , the world audience shifted its allegiance to the gradual rise to stardom of the Russian personality cult of Gorbachev in the late eighties . The bureaucrat took a lesson in imagemaking from the movie star and became a ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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