Region: Vietnam

The Same as It Ever Was

That Mailer’s opinion of the corporate executive echoes exactly D.J. Jethroe’s is no coincidence, for this selective amnesia — this sense that all is permissible so long as it is state-sanctioned, to the benefit of American markets, and hidden from plain view — is, according to Mailer, precisely why America was in Vietnam.

Jul 8, 2005
Category: Words

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

I wonder if it might be more useful to call FMJ an anti war-movie movie. For the auteur is obviously fascinated, in a deliberately self-reflexive way, with the influence of images and storytelling on the formation of what might be described as ideological mythology.

Dec 31, 2002
Category: Film, Film Responses

Planning for War (and Whatnot)

Herr’s porn analogy seems even more appropriate today, when technology allows us to watch a precision guided missile hitting its target from a first-person point of view. It’s Eisensteinian montage at its most perverse.

Sep 23, 2002
Category: Debris, Politics

The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)

The film actually becomes more interesting to me if I imagine Mui in twenty years, her beauty faded, her husband gone, and her spirit empowered.

Mar 28, 2002
Category: Film, Film Responses

The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (1971)

As is the case when I watch Full Metal Jacket, I find Pavlo Hummel much more interesting when viewed in this light—as an examination of “the eternal human pageant,” that constant process of interaction, performance, and construction.

Jan 18, 2000
Category: Drama, Words