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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In some ways , Silkwood is a film like the midwestern farm crisis movies of 1984 , because it shows the desperation of people in small American towns who need jobs and are forced to risk their lives to literally trade future years of ...
In Someone to Watch Over Me ( 1987 ) , Mike Keegan ( Tom Berenger ) , a young NYPD detective who lives happily in Queens with his former - cop wife and eight - year - old son , is assigned to provide protective custody for a rich yuppie ...
How can these Georgetown graduates have been so successful in their studies and in their new jobs , yet be so terribly confused in their personal lives ? Alex ( Judd Nelson ) is a ruthless congressional aide and Kirbo ( Emilio Estevez ) ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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