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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... terrorism . It focuses closely ( and comically , satirically ) upon the fact that terrorism and the media willingly sustain a necessary symbi- otic relationship . The Control Text The rhetoric of political terrorism is conscientiously ...
... control terrorism feeds on confusion because these death squad governments consistently employ PR imagemaking to hide the reality that the governments themselves , not the insurgents , are the terrorists . Both Price and Kittle are ...
... terrorism ultimately arrive at the mass graves where the victims are dumped like garbage . All of these overtly political films about control terrorism define the sociohistorical consciousness of who the villains are in the eighties ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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