Ken Burns' new documentary: The Vietnam War

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

  1. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
  2. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Not unlike what we've been doing the last decade and a half.
     
  3. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    I have a different take on this than most of you.
    I really wish I hadn't seen The Civil War, because then maybe I wouldn't have been so disappointed in Part 1.
    For starters, using that slow buildup to quick cut editing technique is powerful the first time. After about the 10th time it just becomes annoyingly distracting. I get that this material requires a different approach than some of Burns' more vintage subject matter, but I am not a fan of how this was edited at all.
    In terms of the actual info presented, I appreciate the detail to which the filmmakers devoted to the very complex political situation of post-war Indochina. Maybe too much detail-I felt like I should be taking notes. This is college-level discourse we're receiving and honestly it's a little dry.
    I guess the much-vaunted soundtrack makes its appearance later on, because we only got a singular Dylan song so far (not that I'm complaining about that).
    I've got 17 hours to go. Because I'm such fan of Burns I plan on sticking this out-I just hope the much more familiar parts of this story that are to come are told with more of the virtuosity we've come to expect from him. I'll probably comment again after it's over, assuming the thread hasn't been shut down. Hopefully I'll be eating my words.
     
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  4. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    It should be hammered home. Because it happens time and time again. We think we can go in and save countries and turn them into little USA's. We disregard culture and history.
    I loved Pt.1(and 2). Part 1 was required viewing for me as I really did not have a firm understanding of the past and what was going on before the US got involved. I didn't find it dry or difficult to watch in the least, but rather incredibly fascinating. And I'm not usually one for detailed history discourse. Sure there was an awful lot to digest, but I've recorded these episodes so I can stop and rewind if I've missed something. All in all, I felt it all told in a very detailed, but clear and concise manner. But man it is already very difficult to view, and I'm only through the first 2 parts. And it makes what's going on in the world today even more frustrating to realize that we're living in some version of "Groundhog Day", but without Bill Murray to keep us laughing.
     
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  5. tman53

    tman53 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pa
    I like the Groundhog Day reference but none of this is funny (not an attack). Burns in these first two episodes has presented a microcosm of US political and military history.
     
  6. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Couldn't agree more.
     
  7. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Newberg, OR USA
    I hear what you're saying, but I'm hoping we can keep this excellent thread open. To do that, we're all going to need to self-edit our posts. Just saying.
     
  8. tman53

    tman53 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pa
    Ha, I actually removed a few sentences from my post that really would have blown things up. But, I will say I love this for the brilliance of these first two episodes.
     
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  9. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Newberg, OR USA
    I love this forum because it attracts a lot of really intelligent folks who can make me think differently about almost anything.

    For the record, there's no doubt in my mind that if you and talked about this over beers we'd probably agree more than we disagree. But I just have this feeling that one more visit by Jerry or another gort is gonna be it for this thread. We have too much good stuff ahead of us for that to happen.

    Peace.
     
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  10. Bender Rodriguez

    Bender Rodriguez RIP Exene, best dog ever. 2005-2016

    Location:
    New Jersey
    No spoilers, please. I want to find out by watching who wins.
     
  11. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Maybe, but can there really still be people out there pro-Vietnam War? Other then that, the only debate is how Burns' made his movie. Or am I missing something?
     
  12. debased

    debased Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    I was born in '67 and I don't have many firm memories of the war. By the late 70's I became increasingly aware of the treatment of the vets and that alone played a large role in sculpting my political and military views. It wasn't their fault they ended up in a war without a shared belief we were doing the right thing, like WWII. The opening of last night's episode with the guy who can't sleep without a night light got to me. You can't undue that type of damage.
     
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  13. PonceDeLeroy

    PonceDeLeroy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maryland
    We will never hear tapes like the tapes of LBJ and Nixon again! It's kind of hard to believe we have access to that. Just talking about how history is recorded.
     
  14. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    My God, this nauseates me. And I don't mean the blood.
    I feel like someone is ripping something painful out of my body.
     
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  15. jjh1959

    jjh1959 Forum Resident

    Location:
    St. Charles, MO
    There are a lot of people still pro-Vietnam War.
     
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  16. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    Some of those Johnson tapes were only released within the last few years I believe. One of the early ones blew my mind when I first heard it at as to how he was so aware of what they would be getting into and yet still did what he did. There is another from late in Johnson's presidency that was even more of a mind-blower that I wonder if they will use, and can't imagine how they could not as it's that important.

    Episode 3: I think this is working out where it's more like a Zane Grey book where the seemingly disparate stories are coming together more now and not the jumping about in time as in the first one. I guess that was to keep it from getting too scholarly and dull or something. I had heard the story about Jimmy Nakayama of Rigby, Idaho in the Napalm explosion before told by the same reporter. There is a nice Philo T. Farnsworth museum in Rigby which has other local history represented.

    Jimmy Nakayama, PFC, Army, Rigby ID, 17Nov65 03E088 - The Virtual Wall®

    For more on the Ia Drang Valley battles, the book 'We Were Soldiers Once... And Young' is one I read and thought was well done.

    Phil Och's music seemed appropriate to what was on the screen about various protests, not sure about Johnny Cash's Big River or Burl Ives' Little Drummer Boy. Oh well. I haven't studied the charts for 1964-65.

    Interesting to me that Ho was pretty much a figurehead without power earlier than I'd realized, no doubt a problem if U.S. presidents also thought he had more power or sway than he had too!
     
  17. beccabear67

    beccabear67 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Victoria, Canada
    Or at least pro- that the thing that was attempted was honorable on the part of many, and meant something even though it wasn't successful. Communists putting some village head on trial as a capitalist land baron and executing them in front of everyone was hardly the way to go if you cared about your fellow man, plus renaming places after this European braniac Marx with all kinds of 'works on paper' fantasies and who also wrote that Asians were only useful for manual labor isn't loving your country to me. No good choices though for so many really. Yes, nauseating is a good description really. I can't imagine being in the situations so many of these people were in without losing something of your soul, mind and/or nerves. :cry:
     
  18. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Well I hope they're watching. Never to late to learn something.
     
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  19. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    Burns has a formula that at times seems to almost verge into self-parody.
     
  20. Atmospheric

    Atmospheric Forum Resident

    Location:
    Newberg, OR USA
    Yup. You are missing something. Gorts have already weighed in once.
     
  21. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Good enough. I'll behave.
     
  22. NorthNY Mark

    NorthNY Mark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canton, NY, USA
    I have been amazed, and the nausea is definitely growing. This is extremely--and horrifyingly-- well-done (so far).
     
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  23. bhazen

    bhazen Beatles Diehard

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    A great look back at some recent history that people (including myself) have forgotten, or didn't know in the first place. Painful, though; I found myself getting angry (again!!) at the U.S. government doubling down, over and over, on a failing strategy -- based on happy talk, lies and almost nonexistent intelligence -- resulting in death and horror.

    Masterful documentary; which the current bunch in D.C. ought to be forced to watch with their eyes propped open à la Alex the Droog in A Clockwork Orange.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  24. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    I've watched all 3 episodes so far and I don't recall any mention of the draft---when it started, who was first drafted and who wasn't, etc. That seems like a major omission.
     
  25. Jose Jones

    Jose Jones Outstanding Forum Member

    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    There has to be a distinction between politics and 50 year old history now.
     
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