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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For the Marines of Full Metal Jacket the reality of death in Vietnam must somehow be distanced . As only the movies can do , the reality of war must somehow be romanticized . Joker's John Wayne imitation , the recurring tendency of all ...
From the beginning , the theme of the power and fragility of photographic images of reality is visually stressed . The technique of the sudden freeze - framing switch from motion picture color to still photography black and white is ...
The visual trope of freeze - frame , color - to - black - and - white switching in Under Fire underlines the differences between reality and interpretation . However , in the holographic use of this metaphor of photography to present ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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