Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Movie : The Vietnam War

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CB just spent 2 weeks with Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s 10 episode 18 hour documentary film ‘The Vietnam War”.  If you are familiar with Burns and like his work you will not be disappointed.  If you are new to his work (and Novick’s) you are in for a staggering, riveting, emotional film.  The soundtrack is up to the task.  Burns knows his music.  Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross compose the original score.  Great stuff.

The skill and effort that went into this piece of work all ends up on the screen.  As a film lover CB was totally engaged.  As a human being he was totally engaged.  It was an emotional roller coaster.  Tears, anger, frustration and an utter feeling of the  waste of human lives.  Men, women and children with names , uniqueness,  families, friends, lovers.  Burns and Novick make it personal.

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The main things I came away with from this experience was what the men and women (and their families) who fought the battles, on both sides, had to endure and the division it had on the people back in the USA and in Vietnam.  All because of decisions made by people in power who did not do the right thing.  There are no shortage of people to point the finger at, who fucked up and lied.  No one can hide.  There are also no shortages of acts of bravery, selflessness and sacrifice on both sides.   I’m humbled.

CB learned a lot.  Confirmed some things I knew, straightened out some misconceptions I had and had me glued to the box for every minute.  A great piece of work by Burns and Novick.  I’m sure it will resonate with people on a lot of levels.  It did with CB.

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27 comments on “Movie : The Vietnam War

  1. Heavy Metal Overload
    October 1, 2017

    Really need to see this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, Another Blogger
    October 1, 2017

    Glad to hear they did a great job.
    Burns likes to take on big and challenging subjects.

    I’m not familiar with the co-creator of the series. Do you know about her?

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2017

      I think she has been on his team for his other films.
      Yeah you get to trust certain peoples work. Burns is one of those people. Being an American and having that as part of your history I would be interested on your take. I know the subject effects people differently and some don’t want to revisit. I get that and respect that. It’s tough subject matter but it is in good hands worth Burns and Novick. Knowing you a little Neil I think you would get lot out of it. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, Another Blogger
        October 1, 2017

        I’m going to try and catch some of the episodes. They’ll fill in a lot of holes in my knowledge.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 1, 2017

        Please keep me informed on what you think. I’m sure it will fill in some holes and move you at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tony
    October 1, 2017

    Gonna have to check this out. It’s one of those periods of history I need greater filling in on and this sounds shit hot

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2017

      Tony, yeah this will “fill” that period in. The story is mind boggling and the filmmakers keep it focused. There was so much to cover. I think you will be drawn in quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tony
        October 1, 2017

        I’ll be sure to give it a butchers, your recommendations are to be heeded – I’m currently deep in The Big Nowhere

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        October 5, 2017

        I didn’t see this comment. Give it a “butchers” I like that. I have a couple Ellroys staring at me from the pile. I don’t know if I can resist. The Bid Nowhere, I’m a little envious. What a great title. I guess I can look froward to a take after your done.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tony
        November 4, 2018

        Ok – so thanks to that streaming giant that rhymes with Petfix I got to this last night. First episode was stunning. I never knew what really kicked that while shitestorm off; I never did think much of de Gaulle. Hooked and eager for more, thanks for the heads up

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 4, 2018

        Oh man are you in for a treat and an education. I know how much you love politicians. This film will do nothing to help that. “Shitestorm” is the word and it just keeps coming. But through it all I found something to still believe in my fellow man. Just not those @$%&&^$# that were behind that “shitestorm”. Check in some more. Would love to hear how it’s hitting you.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tony
        November 21, 2018

        While I’m sure there might be some politicians that aren’t so bad he really takes the biscuit. Did you know D-Day was kept a secret from him until it was well underway because he could keep his trap shut?
        I’m four episodes in now and it’s hitting me hard. Such an eye opener. Absolutely devestating in its depth and power

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        November 21, 2018

        In another of Burns’s work (National Parks) he interviews an old doll from Florida who worked in a newspaper down there. Her quote on politicians that she came across “They don’t wake up in the morning and think about what they can do for others”. That kind of says it
        Like I said i don’t want to give too much away while you’re experiencing this film. But I would like to turn back time and clean this mess up or at least put people like Nixon in the line of fire. Your last sentence is apt. Keep checking in. I’m enjoying your comments.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. John W. Leys
    October 1, 2017

    This is definitely on my watch list. Ken Burns is such a fantastic filmmaker. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of his projects.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 1, 2017

      John, like you I have not been “disappointed” by any of his films. This keeps up that standard. Pop back and let me know your feelings. How is the creative outlet going? I’ll drop by for my visit soon. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  5. 1537
    October 2, 2017

    I have to see this too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. greenpete58
    October 4, 2017

    It’s a riveting documentary, CB. Burns-Novick know what works for a mainstream audience, and they’re really good at what they do. However… (you know me, the devil’s advocate)… there are faults. Many omissions, and an overemphasis on sentiment. What really bothers me, and something I alluded to in my essay about the music, is the producers’ attitude that this docu will provide healing, and help turn a page. It won’t. Check out this insightful review by Christian Appy, who’s written extensively about ‘Nam, and is a history prof at University of Massachusetts:

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 4, 2017

      We need ‘devil’s advocates’. I haven’t seen any interviews with the film makers or read any reviews about the film (other than greenpete58’s take on the music). I tend to stay away from “what they want me to take away from their work”. CB will take his own thing(s) away from his experience. Maybe some folks will heal and turn a page. But hey … it sounds good.

      I read the Appy piece. Thanks for sending that. I am going to read it again and dive into his work. He certainly comes to the film from a well informed place. Some of the points he makes are ones that really pissed me off, the whole crock of shit about the US justifying why they were there. His 7 points on the past/present similarities are bang on. “Standing up to your government and saying no when it’s doing something you think is not in this nations best interest – that is the most important job that every citizen has.” John Musgrave.

      Like

  7. greenpete58
    October 4, 2017
  8. greenpete58
    October 4, 2017

    I totally agree with taking your own things away from experience. I try not to allow others to think for me. But some people are better qualified than me in certain subjects, so they can point out things that I otherwise wouldn’t notice. Appy and others have done so with the Vietnam War and its aftermath. I feel the Burns-Novick documentary is real valuable, but it shouldn’t be the singular statement on the subject. Many people don’t read, or dig into critical history, however, so (like with the American Civil War) Burns-Novick is the only perspective they’ll ever get.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 4, 2017

      Pete. It’s like watching a pro fight. The commentators can really color what your watching. Sometimes I wonder if I’m watching the same fight. As for the Burns/Novick piece being “real valuable” I agree with that and the rest of your quote. I’ll leave you with this, “Politics asks for the highest type of men and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So we have to work with what we get”. Raymond Chandler ‘Lady In The Lake’ 1943.

      Like

  9. Jim S.
    October 14, 2017

    Well, I finally got through all 10 episodes, 18 hours of the series. (How you, or anyone, could find the time to watch it ten straight nights is beyond me.) Having lived through much of these wars (the one in Vietnam and the one at home) all I can is what a goddamn fucking waste. In late 1964, early 1965, 2400 men had died. Johnson knew the war was, if not unwinnable, pretty damn close to that. Had he done the right thing and pulled out we could have saved 50,000+ more lives. But he had to prove some point, which, well, I don’t know what it was. To your point, though, a lot of people were responsible for this clusterfuck right down to that US ambassador that refused to leave or allow people to evacuate till Ford forced him to. Anyway, an important documentary that everyone (especially Americans and Vietnamese) should watch. Painful though it may be.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      October 15, 2017

      “Goddamn fucking waste”. For what? That ambassador was the cherry on top. Unbelievable. Good stuff Doc. I knew you wouldn’t pull any punches.

      (CB watches very little TV. Strapping in for this film was an exhaustive trip. That’s more hours than I watch in a couple months. Plus just the emotional drain).

      Liked by 1 person

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