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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larger war , a microcosm of the Vietnam War's macroviolence . Off Limits clearly demonstrates the futility of trying to contain violence in a war zone such as Saigon . Films like Platoon ( 1986 ) , Off Limits , Full Metal Jacket ( 1987 ) ...
the Rain , and Heroes , to portray troubled Vietnam veterans bringing the violence and frustration of the war home to roost in American society . Beginning in 1976 , the Vietnam War film has progressed through three rather clearly ...
representing the Vietnam War , the black comedy of The Stunt Man turned into real tragedy with the deaths of actor Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese children . This whole series of comic book passes at the issues and themes of the Vietnam ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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