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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Varrick is a Beverly Hills yuppie in full possession of the uniform , who has chosen his life of crime as a way of striking out at his rich parents who have neglected he and his sister Ann ( Lara Harris ) . Enter the twist .
After all their adventures , however , Jack comes to get her in the city and liberates her in a very eighties yuppie way . He shows up in front of her Park Avenue apartment in a sailboat on a trailer and they sail off into the middle of ...
a Three Men and a Baby takes a similar approach to critiquing the yuppie lifestyle . ... however , a baby in a basket is left on their doorstep , and they are changed from the swinging yuppies of the year to just three sorry mothers .
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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