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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... image . Images can tell the truth or lie . False images can be projected and true images can be suppressed . Reality is rarely what it seems because control terrorism involves not only controlling the citizens by terrorizing them but ...
... images do not have to be analysed . They are immediate and shocking : a burning body in the road , the execution by ... images is of unimaginable violence . Each is served neat , its reality undiluted , not editorialized upon or frozen ...
... images or Missing with its incessant audio ( gunfire ) punctuation , but quite like Under Fire , Kiss of the Spider Woman is a more abstract , detached , even symbolic analysis of death squad terrorism . There are images of torture and ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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