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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Only moments later , Taylor's perception is confirmed as two battle - hardened veterans , Elias and O'Neil ( John C. McGinley ) , argue about whose fireteam should go out on ambush . “ Whaddaya want me to do ?
The mythic association comes clear later in the film when Cutter obsessively closes in pursuit of Cord who is repeatedly associated with whiteness and whose powerful bald forehead looms over them like the brow of Moby Dick .
Later , however , as he becomes involved with the rebel cause , Price starts taking photographs that alter and manipulate reality . In the rebel village he takes pictures of the dead Rafael that make that leader seem alive and that ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
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