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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... Russia . " 5 American films of the eighties certainly went to Russia for their settings , characters , stories , and themes . In the process , those films served as popular culture barometers of the state of Amero - Russian relations ...
... Amero - Russian relations . Both Red Dawn and Rambo III had the luxury of locating their anti - Soviet hate messages in real wars . These three films , however , must , of cold war necessity , contrive situations where Amero - Russian ...
... Russians Are Coming , The Russians Are Coming ( 1966 ) , which exploited American cold war paranoia toward the Soviet Union . In this third Amero - Russian film text , the tone moves away from rightist militarist bellicosity and cold ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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