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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... nuclear power plants in Indiana and California were abandoned in a backlash of nuclear fear . Thus nuclear destruction and nuclear contamination posed a dual threat . On 16 July 1985 , the atomic bomb celebrated its fortieth birthday ...
... Nuclear war ! Where's the terror in this world ? Scream it : Nuclear war ! Take a stand and keep screaming : Nuclear war ! Nuclear war ! " Don DeLillo's hero in End Zone is also fascinated by nuclear war : It started with a book , an ...
... nuclear war stance . Star Wars ( 1977 ) is , perhaps , the clearest precursor to the heightened nuclear awareness of the eighties . Not only did it give a show - biz name to the Reagan administration's space - based laser cure - all for ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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