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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Those images are introduced in the opening scene before the credits . Set in a firefight in the past in Vietnam , the image of a soldier carrying his buddy to safety and the image of a hand outstretched to pull a buddy to safety are ...
What this opening speech does is set a wider context for the “ survivor guilt ” theme than has been attempted in the comic book films . Whereas Uncommon Valor and Missing in Action had shown the American government as guilty for The ...
The opening image of Alamo Bay is much like the opening image of First Blood - a Vietnam veteran walking a road alone , looking for a place . The major difference is that in Alamo Bay the fugitive from the Vietnam War is Vietnamese and ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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The Drunken Journalist: The Biography of a Film Stereotype
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