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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Firefox , Top Gun , Iron Eagle II , and The Hunt for Red October ( 1990 ) , which is about a nuclear submarine rather than jet airplanes , are hardware films - films in which the war machines that have been forced into dormancy are ...
Jessica Lange , who both produced and starred in Country , got the idea from a newspaper photo of an Ohio farm family forced to sell all their belongings in a foreclosure auction . Of these three films , Country is the most overtly a ...
But whereas Edna Spalding's husband was killed and Jewel Ivey's was off seeking solace in a bottle , Mae's husband , Tom Garvey ( Mel Gibson ) , is forced to leave the farm to do scab labor in a city . In Tom's absence , Mae faces not ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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