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 Country , the feminist theme is a powerful , if somewhat stacked , statement that women are both the brains and the stamina that will get America through the crisis at its grassroots . Mae Garvey ( Sissy Spacek ) in The River is a ...
Its text of feminist independence is one of its strongest and most complex . When Mike , in their very last moment , cries “ Sarah ” after the fleeing Anna , his mistake is a male longing for a return to Victorian femininity that no ...
These Alien films proved to be actress Weaver's feminist text preparation for her central role of the decade , that of Dian Fossey in the feminist biopic Gorillas in the Mist ( 1988 ) . Other actresses - Jessica Lange in Frances ( 1982 ) ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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The Drunken Journalist: The Biography of a Film Stereotype
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