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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This 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 ...
The Colonel repeats a whole litany of military overtext clichés having to do with love of country , taking sides , getting with the program , jumping on the team , coming in for the big win , all of which , faithful to their sports ...
Vietnam has grounded a whole new “ lost generation " of young Americans , and the title character of Birdy represents their desire to once again soar above their lostness and invisibility at home . All through Birdy , carrier pigeons ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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