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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Second , the " coming home ” issue involved the psychological problems of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ( PTSD ) and the often attendant " survivor guilt syndrome . ” Third , the racial issues of the acceptance of Vietnamese refugees ...
Rather , they are lobbying hard for the resolution of three major partisan issues : 1. Diplomatic resolution of the MIA / POW issue 2. The Agent Orange issue 3. The issue of the plight of Amerasian children They are pursuing their goals ...
The Mad Max movies looked at the issue existentially and metaphorically . Tim O'Brien in The Nuclear Age questions the metaphoricality of nuclear war . His hero carries a sign that reads “ The Bombs Are Real ” and raves internally : a ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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