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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... guilt over not somehow preventing the death or wounding of a buddy . ” 13 Clark Smith seconds Friedel's emphasis upon guilt : " Underlying post - Vietnam syndrome is a nagging aggravation complicated by contemporary anxi- eties ...
... guilt - fueled pipedream , but in the early eighties , American society still was not ready to accept the loss or live with the guilt . The Hollywood comic book exploitations of the survivor guilt fantasy — Uncommon Valor , the Missing ...
... guilt " as a " family " responsibility and then elevates that “ survival guilt ” to a metaphorical national guilt for having lost in Vietnam . Reagan exploited that national guilt complex into an aggressive strategy for international ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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