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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It draws its subject matters from history , but it has become much less concerned with epic documentation as in the sweeping war movies of the fifties , sixties , and seventies such as A Bridge Too Far ( 1977 ) or The Longest Day ( 1962 ) ...
The only way that Cameron can find a new identity is to become one with the illusion , reject the historical reality of Vietnam for the new imaginative reality that he has learned to live with on the movie set , a reality in which ...
As Loren's success as a daytime academic and a nighttime call girl gains momentum , she becomes intimately involved with Lord Bolbeck . ... become actors whose author is a Petro - conspiracy with terrorism as its catalyst .
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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