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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... story and intention much as was Coppola's Apocalypse Now . David Halberstam writes of Apocalypse Now ( Washington Post , 8 March 1987 ) that it " was two films , an occasionally brilliant Vietnam movie mixed together with Coppola's ...
... Story offers an equally powerful subtext examination of the nature of history and its manipulation under fascist rule . The Official Story presents no graphic images of death squad terrorism as do Under Fire , Salvador , Missing , or ...
... story of a lone woman fighting to survive in a corrupt world of men . From the moment she leaves her abusive husband in 1968 to the public firing on television by a grandstanding Governor Blanton , Marie Ragghianti refuses to be ...
The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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