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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... fantasy . " That last phrase embodies her indecision . How can a film be both " middle - of - the - road " and " right - wing " as well as a “ fantasy " ? Kael reveals in the uncertainty of her prose either her own inability to grasp ...
... fantasy with allusions to every war ever fought , from the Mongol invasions to medieval sieges to Nazi executions to the Hungarian and Czechoslovakian uprisings to the Vietcong guerrillas in Vietnam to the Cuban command- er's fond ...
... fantasy life out of watching a set of sexy personal ads that two New York punk rockers use to set up love trysts . Armed with this fantasy that the free - spirit Susan ( Madonna ) possesses the independence and passion she would like to ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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