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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The final movie - within - the - movie scene that Molina recounts is not from his Nazi movie but is set on a desert island ruled by the Spider Woman . Molina tells about the terrible dilemma of a shipwrecked man caught in the huge web ...
On the gray , bleak , south coast of England , a woman stands at the end of an ancient quay as the stormy seas crash around her . A Victorian gentleman walking with his betrothed sees this solitary female figure defying the storm ...
Sarah answers as a twentieth - century woman , and her use of the word “ person " is more feminist - informed than Charles's use of that same word . Meanwhile , back on the twentieth - century film set , Mike is trying to assert a ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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