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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How different , for example , are the training - camp - to - combat films like The Boys in Company C from the dozens of movies beginning with Sergeant York to To Hell and Back to The Sands of Iwo Jima to Darby's Rangers to The Devil's ...
... raised a media outcry against its portrayal of the Chinese gangster community in New York . ... The only difference was that the war was not being fought in Southeast Asia but rather on the streets of New York's Chinatown .
... 297 Sergeant York , 21 Sexual Perversity in Chicago , 301 Seybold , Donald , 321n Shakedown , 67 Sharky's Machine , 256 She - Devil , 273 , 295 Shelton , Mike , 167 She's Gotta Have It , 273 , 274 She's Having A Baby , 305 Shining ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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