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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Marty tells Charlie how Michel uses women like herself : “ One girl he actually used as a bomb . Put her on a plane with some nice looking luggage . The plane blew up . I guess she never even knew she had done it .
As Loren's success as a daytime academic and a nighttime call girl gains momentum , she becomes intimately involved with Lord Bolbeck . Like Charlie in The Little Drummer Girl , Loren is pro - Arab and does not realize that she is being ...
Unfortunately Working Girl , directed by Mike Nichols , did . Rather than being the feminist film that it might have been , it is an embarassingly transparent feminist backlash film that makes absolutely the wrong case throughout its ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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