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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embarrassment over the loss or by chauvinism but rather by guilt for having survived the war , while so many of their buddies , whose ghosts speak to them in their dreams , are dead . This “ survivor guilt syndrome " is a major burden ...
The Hollywood comic book exploitations of the survivor guilt fantasy – Uncommon Valor , the Missing in Action films , Rambo II — were among the most successful box office hits of that 1980–86 period . The American people also fully ...
in Action had shown the American government as guilty for abandoning its soldiers in Vietnam , The Killing Fields assigns guilt to America for entering Southeast Asian politics with a blithe imperialist arrogance and then , after ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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