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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... whole section of the film satirizes the manner in which the military attempted to manipulate the media coverage of the Vietnam War by the manipulation of words . Joker is literally fighting a war of words , and his John Wayne imitation ...
... whole passage finally argues is that this sacrilegious use of words leads men into war . What this whole dialogue exchange demonstrates is the patent ridiculousness of the word manipulation of the military in Vietnam . How can anyone ...
... whole present time of the film ) Al , sometimes you're so full of shit . The film both accepts the plight of the alienated Vietnam veteran and rejects it . This issue of alienation is a reality in American society , but all these films ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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