The Films of the Eighties: A Social History
SIU Press, 1995 - 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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Actor Peter Boyle supports the Hollywood - as - ostrich cliche when he declares " that during the time of Reagan , the movies that have been made have almost no political content at all . " 31 The problem with this Hollywood - as ...
In Reagan - era America , Parker set out to deliver a potent message about racism and white supremacist violence . He chose , however , not to present that film's message from a black point of view . His was a choice quite similar to ...
... War constantly comments upon Reagan - era for- eign policy in Central America and the Middle East , a hair conditioner bottle's label declares that " herbal history traces the use of Chamomile to bring out highlights .
The impact of that single " media event " so catalyzed public opinion that it influenced the Reagan government to pursue more serious nuclear arms control negotia- tions with Russia . In 1983 , three films - Places in the Heart ...
While the concept of the seventies in that earlier study encompassed approximately seventeen years , the eighties really do begin in 1980 with the ascendance of the Reagan administration and continue of a piece throughout that decade .