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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He tells of his elegant bourgeoise lover , Marta ( Sonia Braga ) , to whom he is attracted even though as a Marxist he detests her lifestyle : “ She asked me to leave the movement , but how could I do nothing when my friends were ...
In a long monologue Anna tells Alicia about the Guardia breaking into her house , taking her off to prison ... She ends her monologue by telling Alicia how many people there were in this prison , how pregnant women lost their babies ...
Why don't you tell them that Sukarno makes empty speeches and builds monuments to his vanity while his people are starving to death ? Why don't you tell them that he tells his people to eat rats ? In the end , Billy unfurls a banner ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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