The Films of the Eighties: A Social History
SIU Press, 1995 - 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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... yuppieness - than baseball , but at its core is that same point : that Hollywood creates a discourse in clearly defined texts that not only comment perceptively upon contemporary social history but actually participate in it .
... the eighties not only bore witness to cultural change but in many instances ( such as attitudes toward Vietnam veterans and America / Russia understanding ) actually participated in those changes . In the film industry , from the ...
The eighties in film history actually began with a British invasion . Epic inspirational films - first Chariots of Fire ( 1981 ) and then Gandhi ( 1982 )won the first two Academy Awards , while other literary films like The French ...
These films actually predicted disastrous events such as the gas leak in Bhopal , India , that killed thirty - four hundred people in 1984 and the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion in 1986. Simultaneously , however , these films lobbied ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
The Nuclear War Film Texts
From the Evil Empire to Glasnost
The Feminist Farm Crisis and Other Neoconservative
The Yuppie Texts
Film in the Holograph of New History