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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In the domestic arena , America in the fifties saw new beginnings of political consciousness focused upon the issues of sexual ( in the aftermath of the World War II " Rosie the Riveter " women's liberation ) and racial ( in the ...
The major issues of American social history of both decades were strikingly similar and were explored and disseminated to a mass audience through the movies . In fact , one notable trend of both the films of the seventies and of the ...
This book deals with more serious issues - terrorism , detente , nuclear holocaust , racism , yuppieness - than baseball , but at its core is that same point : that Hollywood creates a discourse in clearly defined texts that not only ...
Social history , the major issues , and film history , the representation of those issues in motion pictures , constantly interact as a binary discourse . These two types of texts , historical event and film representation , participate ...
Over the course of the decade , major sociohistorical issues accumulated referential bodies of films that formed coherent " texts . " Other issues – such as the farm crisis or the attempt to understand what happened to a soldier in ...
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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