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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... military goons , and the left , the demonstrators , as Sukarno's shadow play careens out of control . Near the end of the film as Hamilton attempts to enter the British embassy , which has been taken over by the military , a soldier ...
... military technology that got us into Vietnam and failed so miserably there . Interviewed on the set of Top Gun , a navy pilot nicknamed “ Flex , ” when asked if he thinks about war , answered , “ We have to . It's part of our job ...
... military mired in the stasis of a cold war . They are hungry for any action even if it is only some silly intelligence game . The second thematic section of Firefox deals with a detailed examination of the nature of Soviet society ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
6 other sections not shown
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