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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For Doc , in this dying speech , the issue of race in Vietnam becomes a metaphor for the larger rejection of all the soldiers fighting the war . “ We're all no - good dumb niggers , " Doc says , and it makes no difference what color ...
The career soldiers who conduct these phony military rituals are acutely aware of the terrible contradiction between ... “ Welcome to show business , soldier , " Sergeant Clell Hazard ( James Caan ) sarcastically greets a new member of ...
He does his DJ rap and kids with individual soldiers . As the scene unfolds , he begins to realize that the only real importance of his life in the war lies in the smiles he brings to the faces and the emotion his music brings to the ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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