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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... Ironically by the end of the film , his pictures will become death warrants for their subjects , and he will , indeed ... ironic juxtaposition of the inno- cence of throwing baseballs and the reality of throwing grenades parallels the ...
... ironic comment on how , in the eighties , terrorist violence seems to have become the only solution to the world's political and commercial problems . Another epic - scale Gangster film , Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America ...
... ironic when the nuclear strike occurs and both past and future are obliterated in bright searing seconds . All the plans seem so frivolous in the face of knowing that there no longer is a future for the world . Testament is E.T .: The ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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