Ken Burns' new documentary: The Vietnam War

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by riverclown, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. kevywevy

    kevywevy Forum Resident

    I hope he used better advisors than he did for the Jazz series.
  2. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    New England
  3. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    definitely will be watching.
  4. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    No angry jazz on the soundtrack? Definitely sounds of the times.
  5. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    This war has been exhaustively covered by several documenary series, the best of them being "10,000 Day War". It will be interesting to see Burns' spin on this.
  6. riverclown

    riverclown Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Bradenton, FL
    Looks like big efforts are being made to avoid bias. From an interesting article in Vanity Fair:

    Why The Vietnam War Is Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Most Ambitious Project Yet

    "In terms of content, The Vietnam War, written by the historian Geoffrey C. Ward and narrated by Peter Coyote, is rich, revelatory, and scrupulously evenhanded. It succeeds in large part by not being reductive or succinct—by being, in fact, rather overstuffed, a lot to take in. (The documentary will be available for streaming via PBS’s app, which will be useful not only to cord-cutters but also to viewers keen, as I was, to revisit earlier episodes after having watched later ones.) Even so, Burns said, he and Novick “spent a lot of time subtracting—subtracting commentary, subtracting an adjective that might put a thumb on the scale” in terms of bias. By dint of its thoroughness, its fairness, and its pedigree, The Vietnam War is as good an occasion as we’ve ever had for a levelheaded national conversation about America’s most divisive foreign war. It deserves to be, and likely will be, the rare kind of television that becomes an event."
    4xoddic likes this.
  7. samurai

    samurai Forum Resident

    Will removing any controversy or perspective from the film create a bland interpretation of the war?
    Contrary to many opinions I have found Burn's programs to be amazingly unsatisfying.
    Even the simple choice and presentation of "facts" can be biased.
    rod, Lightworker and misterdecibel like this.
  8. dead of night

    dead of night Forum Resident

    Northern Va, usa
    The great novelist Tim O'Brien will be a part of this. In the series preview, he is seen commenting that 80% of the casualties in Vietnam were incurred by land mines.
    PonceDeLeroy and Lightworker like this.
  9. townsend

    townsend Forum Resident

    Montrose, CO
  10. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    Still a week to go, right?
  11. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    Here we go. Hope everyone's ready.
    Quote from a Nam vet in the paper today: "It heaps ineptness upon ignorance upon immorality by policymakers and the military brass--all guided by an archaic worldview shaped by the Cold War and the post-WWII Can-do attitude."
    Classicolin likes this.
  12. Classicolin

    Classicolin ‘60s/‘70s Rock Fanatic/Crown Kingdom Guitarist

    Ken Burns is in the same camp as Ron Howard - when their subject isn't directly political, good results can ensue, but throughought their non-political works, they are revealed as nostalgiac American sentimentalists reared during the height of the Cold War, whose bias of, and romanticism for, their nation and its history, permeate everything they do. Frankly, I found his WWII doc to be one of most vapid accounts of the multi-faceted, global war out there. If no other historical account survived of the notorious conflict into the future, their understanding of WWII would be of a very limied, sorry state.

    As for Vietnam, any fair coverage of American involvement in the conflict is doomed from the outset. The Boomer/Vietnam generation is largely still alive, and 'Nam proves just as divisive within the USA alone today as did from 1968-1973. It's sad that over a quarter-of-a-century later, unbiased, non-hawkish American historiographies of the Cold War are still rarer than cheap copies of the original David Bowie The Man Who Sold The World RCA CD...
    krock2009, ianuaditis, bhazen and 3 others like this.
  13. Is this a quote about Ken Burns' documentary or about The Vietnam War in general?
    PonceDeLeroy likes this.
  14. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    the doc. The writer got to see a preview copy, more or less
  15. PhilBorder

    PhilBorder Forum Resident

    Sheboygan, WI
    Based on the WSJ review, they made a concerted effort to cast the net wide.
  16. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    we knew that in 1970
  17. bhazen

    bhazen Binaural-Curious

    Newcastle, WA
    Every NCO club, officers mess, what have you had "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" on the jukebox, r2r tape machine, whatever. And it was being played. I've always maintained that this was the most popular record of the U.S. forces in the war. (I lived in Thailand amongst Americans supporting the war effort and G.I.'s, and also visited a handful of bases in-country in 1970.) Creedence Clearwater Revival was also huge, as I recall.
  18. theoxrox

    theoxrox Forum Resident

    central Wisconsin
    A very safe prediction, I'm sorry to say......
    Lightworker likes this.
  19. AJH

    AJH Forum Resident

    PA Northern Tier
    Absolutely. We Gotta Get Out of This Place was everywhere (as was CCR). I can't understand its omission.
  20. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    I know this is a small point, but it's narrated by longtime Ken Burns favorite Peter Coyote. If you're going to invest 18 hours in a TV show, this is the man to tell the story.
    krock2009 and kevywevy like this.
  21. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Musical Omnivore

    Victoria, Canada
    Gonna check out Episode 1 tonight. There is an hour long thing following it of old Dick Cavett show highlights about the war on the Detroit PBS channel, which I'm sure will be very anti type clips mostly, but maybe there will be some pro too, hoo nose, quite awhile ago now.
  22. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    San Jose, CA
    Definitely going to watch - reminder to self!
  23. guidedbyvoices

    guidedbyvoices Diver Dan

    Alpine, TX
    Dvr'ing it. Not my favorite subject but an important one, and all of Ken Burns docs have been interesting and I learned a lot and gained different perspectives.
  24. pocofan

    pocofan Forum Resident

    I closed the door on that part of my life decades ago. Rarely think of it, never talk about it and won't watch it. No need to revisit.
  25. thxdave

    thxdave Forum Resident

    I think that's one of the compelling reasons this is being aired. The people who are inheriting the reins of power seem to have no memory of it. Insert George Santayana quote here.
    krock2009, Morpheus and bhazen like this.

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