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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34 Davies's example is an artificial , sound - stage view of America , but his point speaks to the power of film to present America . American films define the temper of American society in the time of their time .
may indeed be simply an event that provides a backdrop for a film's human action . Also , on a primary text level , history may embody an idea that gives a general definition to the vision of the film and points in a general way toward ...
the Vietnam War film history , the consciousness of blacks is short - lived . Some Kind of Hero has a black central character but espouses no racial theme . In other coming home ” films of that second phase , there is little evidence of ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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