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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In one of the early assaults on the hill , helicopter gunships fly over to provide support , but they think the Americans are the enemy and they open up with what is absurdly called “ friendly fire . ” Metaphorically , this absurd ...
This Israeli tank commander who fires his cannon into our camps so that our women and children have their flesh burnt from their bones , this Israeli is called a hero . But when we strike back , the only way we can , with our hands ...
One's called Kerr , one's called McGee . And that's how I see it . They own this state . They own everybody in this state . ” The structure of the film is dialogic . The personal lives and coming to consciousness of the econuclear ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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