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 the seventies , American society truly tried to kill two birds with one stone in its dealings with Vietnam veterans . ... world from the point of view of the bird , the Vietnam veteran , whom everyone seems to be trying to kill off .
Perez insists the boy was shot while trying to escape . “ Was he trying to escape backwards ? ” Plarr asks . Graphic flashback images of a Guardia jail explode in Dr. Plarr's mind as one of the guerrillas describes the music played very ...
The film fixates on twelve years of a single couple trying to sort out the stresses of being friends or lovers or both . If they are representative of the yuppie generation , then it is a miracle that the concept of marriage still ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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