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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The portrayal of the Vietnam War veteran in the movies evolved into something completely different in the early eighties . The phase of the Vietnam vets vulnerability , confusion , and psychological imbalance partially ended and the age ...
From the dominance of the American Cowboy movie star personality cult of Ronald Reagan in the early eighties , the world audience shifted its allegiance to the gradual rise to stardom of the Russian personality cult of Gorbachev in the ...
What little humor was present in the early scenes of Country was quickly submerged in that film's polemic . The River early embraced an unrelievedly grim tone . But The Milagro Bean Field War chronicles the bumbling , comic , flawed ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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