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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now?

 
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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/21/2017 9:09:06 PM   
berto


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I can report back, but without saying too much. A highly controversial topic and documentary, to be sure. I/we need to watch what we say, we should be careful not to quarrel. A pity if this venerable "What program/film/documentary are you watching now?" thread were to be locked over this.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/21/2017 10:33:16 PM   
durangokid


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If anyone wants to see the 10-hour international cut of the Ken Burns Vietnam series in the UK, BBC 4 will be showing it starting at 2100 on Monday 25 September.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/21/2017 10:57:04 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: berto


I can report back, but without saying too much. A highly controversial topic and documentary, to be sure. I/we need to watch what we say, we should be careful not to quarrel. A pity if this venerable "What program/film/documentary are you watching now?" thread were to be locked over this.


Of course it is controversial, but I'm asking you for your perspective on the show, not your opinion about the historical / political events of the time. I firmly believe that you will be able to negotiate that minefield with aplomb.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/21/2017 11:04:45 PM   
VPaulus

 

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I don't see us locking a thread like this, we would rather delete offending posts if needed...

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 5:05:25 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: durangokid

If anyone wants to see the 10-hour international cut of the Ken Burns Vietnam series in the UK, BBC 4 will be showing it starting at 2100 on Monday 25 September.
warspite1

Thank-you, I will take a look at this.


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 2:13:26 PM   
Lecivius


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I'm not going to watch it. I have a...highly unusual...perspective on what went on over there. Just thinking on it sometimes drives me into depression for weeks.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 3:25:47 PM   
geofflambert


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I'm still really steamed Ken Burns left Stan Musial out of "Baseball"!

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 3:27:50 PM   
geofflambert


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I do believe he covered Joe Garagiola and Yogi Berra, two boys from the Hill here.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 3:32:31 PM   
berto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

I'm still really steamed Ken Burns left Stan Musial out of "Baseball"!

At the risk of stirring controversy ... yes, I too was steamed by his Baseball documentary series. It was Yankees, Yankees, (Red Sox), Yankees. Chauvinistic much?

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 3:42:28 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius

I'm not going to watch it. I have a...highly unusual...perspective on what went on over there. Just thinking on it sometimes drives me into depression for weeks.

Might not be so unusual as you think, Lecivius. If you're up to it (after a few beers, natch), I'd love to hear your thoughts in person one day.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 7:56:53 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

But I found its repeated focus on the political aspects of the war (particularly later in the series) to not be what I was looking for.


Something I read in "ON STRATEGY" many years ago is pertinent here. I have to paraphrase it cause I no longer have the book. I think it was at the start of Chapter 1.

Said the American Colonel to the North Vietnamese Colonel at the Paris Peace Talks; "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield".

Said the North Vietnamese Colonel to the American Colonel, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant".

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 8:06:22 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

But I found its repeated focus on the political aspects of the war (particularly later in the series) to not be what I was looking for.


Something I read in "ON STRATEGY" many years ago is pertinent here. I have to paraphrase it cause I no longer have the book. I think it was at the start of Chapter 1.

Said the American Colonel to the North Vietnamese Colonel at the Paris Peace Talks; "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield".

Said the North Vietnamese Colonel to the American Colonel, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant".


Maybe to two fellow professional officers that have arrived at the Paris Peace Talks by whatever roads. But to me, as a discriminating viewer with limited time for retreads of historical political narrative disguised as military documentary, it's very much relevant.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 8:31:56 PM   
charlie0311

 

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Wut?...???

Somebody here can smell the bull, at least the really smelly stuff,hehe

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 8:46:59 PM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: berto


I can report back, but without saying too much. A highly controversial topic and documentary, to be sure. I/we need to watch what we say, we should be careful not to quarrel. A pity if this venerable "What program/film/documentary are you watching now?" thread were to be locked over this.


Of course it is controversial, but I'm asking you for your perspective on the show, not your opinion about the historical / political events of the time. I firmly believe that you will be able to negotiate that minefield with aplomb.


I have only navigated the first two episodes but I am enjoying it. I have spent a lot of time studying the war over my life so there are few surprises so far. I find it to be balanced and very moving at times. Neil Sheehan's brilliant biography of John Paul Vann is one of my favorite books on Vietnam and it is nice to see Sheehan commenting on this documentary. One of the upcoming episodes focuses on "racism" in the war. I suspect it will touch on some raw nerves but perhaps we need to rub some skin on this one. Sometimes you need 50 years to really sit back and objectively digest an event.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 9:20:26 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

Maybe to two fellow professional officers that have arrived at the Paris Peace Talks by whatever roads. But to me, as a discriminating viewer with limited time for retreads of historical political narrative disguised as military documentary, it's very much relevant.


The point of the book was that North Vietnam actually had a sound strategy with an achievable objective whereas the United States violated virtually every strategic principle and never had any strategic plan to bring the war to a successful conclusion. All we did was kill the enemy in large numbers in the mistaken belief that their society functioned like ours and that they'd give up if we killed enough of them...and apparently we didn't even know what number that was.


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 10:15:22 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

Maybe to two fellow professional officers that have arrived at the Paris Peace Talks by whatever roads. But to me, as a discriminating viewer with limited time for retreads of historical political narrative disguised as military documentary, it's very much relevant.


The point of the book was that North Vietnam actually had a sound strategy with an achievable objective whereas the United States violated virtually every strategic principle and never had any strategic plan to bring the war to a successful conclusion. All we did was kill the enemy in large numbers in the mistaken belief that their society functioned like ours and that they'd give up if we killed enough of them...and apparently we didn't even know what number that was.




My comment was not in reference to the origin of the quote (the book you cite), but the quote / anecdote itself. And the quote's reference to the Ken Burns Vietnam documentary series. Also not interested in a diatribe about whether or not the war in Vietnam was executed in a strategically sound manner, spence.

Let's keep this on topic lest this good thread be locked up.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/22/2017 11:32:59 PM   
VPaulus

 

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One of the things that I really enjoy in Ken Burns documentaries, is the human side of the issue.
In both Civil War and The War, we were listening to written testimonies, most coming from private letters... they were very touching and sometimes one could almost even say brutal.
Here, we have the real people, amplifying their testimony with their own presence and voice.
Testimonies like the one given by Karl Marlantes (Marines 1969), hearing his voice tone, looking at the facial expression and noticing some burst blood vessels on his eyes... it makes everything more vivid:

"We had started walking up and we had probably gotten about a third of the way up the hill and then they unleashed on us.
We were in the middle of this horrible **** sandwich. That's what we called it.

One of the things that I learned in the war is that we're not the top species on the planet because we're nice.
People talk a lot about how well the military turns, you know, kids into, you know, killing machines and stuff.
And I'll always argue that it's just finishing school.
"

This is a personal angle on the war and into the human condition, that I personally value a lot.
I feel that I owe these men and women this much... listen to what they have to say.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/23/2017 3:54:37 AM   
Chickenboy


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I checked out Marlantes' audiobook "What it's Like To Go To War" a few months ago. Riveting. Some of the philosophical stuff nearer the end is a little 'out there', but it bears listening to nonetheless.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/23/2017 3:59:53 PM   
Chickenboy


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Subject change: Who has seen Kingsmen II: The Golden Circle? It opened here yesterday.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/23/2017 7:35:14 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Subject change: Who has seen Kingsmen II: The Golden Circle? It opened here yesterday.
warspite1

No but I hear the reviews are very good.


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/25/2017 11:17:17 AM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Subject change: Who has seen Kingsmen II: The Golden Circle? It opened here yesterday.
warspite1

No but I hear the reviews are very good.


And I heard not so good reviews.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/25/2017 3:15:32 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1


quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

Subject change: Who has seen Kingsmen II: The Golden Circle? It opened here yesterday.
warspite1

No but I hear the reviews are very good.


And I heard not so good reviews.
warspite1

It only gets a slightly less positive rating than the original overall, but yes, the reviews are mixed.


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/26/2017 5:46:43 AM   
Ranger33

 

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I'm watching the Ken Burns Vietnam series as well. Up to about halfway through episode 4. From my point of view, it seems to be pretty even handed. Soldiers of all sides are given their due and many voices are heard. The politics are of course covered extensively as well. I found especially interesting the shots in the first episode of the French troops walking around rice paddies wearing American WW2 gear. A bit surreal to think about how WW2 had just wrapped up, with France liberated from foreign invaders by soldiers wearing equipment exactly like that, and here they are violently imposing their will on someone else. The human condition, eh?

Politics aside, if one is primarily interested in the combat side of things, you won't be disappointed. There are many, many clips and images that I had never seen before, just in the first few episodes. Also many interviews with veterans from the time and years later, from both sides. That's really the most valuable thing about these documentaries.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/26/2017 6:08:20 PM   
Orm


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The Frogs & The Lobster.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/27/2017 4:53:12 PM   
VPaulus

 

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Regarding the Ken Burns Vietnam, I've just watched the fourth episode and I can tell that I'm really "enjoying" so far the documentary series. I think it's quite balanced for both sides, and I don't see any specific bias. Taking into consideration that this was/is such a polarizing event, I find it quite remarkable.

The only thing that I can think that the documentary is lacking, is the mention of the historical and cultural background of the Vietnamese peoples. The documentary just starts with the French colonial occupation and it's like if there's no history before that. I believe that's something important that would also really help to understand better the Vietnamese's "resolve". I was fortunate to have read a few chapters of the "Fire in the Lake" book regarding that part (I've never finished reading the book, don't know why) of the Vietnam history, so at least, I have some information regarding this.

Apart from this issue, it's really a Ken Burns top documentary seires, on par with The Civil War and The War.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/28/2017 6:39:24 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: VPaulus

The only thing that I can think that the documentary is lacking, is the mention of the historical and cultural background of the Vietnamese peoples. The documentary just starts with the French colonial occupation and it's like if there's no history before that. I believe that's something important that would also really help to understand better the Vietnamese's "resolve".
warspite1

I've just watched the first episode and I agree with this. It would only have taken up a portion of one episode. How are the Vietnamese split? Religion? Ethnic grouping? i.e. to what extent are they a unified group?

But also, why did the French - seemingly from nowhere - decide to invade in the mid 1800's? What was that all about?

That aside, this is a very watchable documentary so far.


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/28/2017 8:47:23 PM   
VPaulus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

That aside, this is a very watchable documentary so far.


And I'm liking it even more with each new episode.

I wonder what they have cut in the International version... an 8 hours cut...
Maybe it's to entice the selling of the DVD version.

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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/29/2017 5:27:26 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ranger33

I found especially interesting the shots in the first episode of the French troops walking around rice paddies wearing American WW2 gear. A bit surreal to think about how WW2 had just wrapped up, with France liberated from foreign invaders by soldiers wearing equipment exactly like that, and here they are violently imposing their will on someone else. The human condition, eh?

warspite1

Yes indeed. And you have the US paying 80% of the cost of the French bill for keeping their colonial possession against the will of the people - after all they had stated (and still stated) about colonialism.

The French wanted to maintain their empire, the US wanted the spread of Communism checked. Looking at both with a 2017 lens makes one want to throw something at the TV - but at the time the actions made sense to those involved.


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/29/2017 5:43:12 AM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

Not sure how long I will continue with Tin Star. Is no one else watching this?

Episode 2 was a real mish-mash of well worn cliche scenes and some strange goings on with a gang of baddies that was really poorly scripted

Not quirky - just all a bit poor really
warspite1

Well I've given up on that... very disappointing. Fantastic Canadian scenery aside, the whole story line is preposterous. So far only maybe two characters are even vaguely worth rooting for, and when the lead characters aren't either of those then that's a problem. And as for the bad guys - what the hell are they all about? Huge oil company employs evil looking bald European (German?) henchman as their chief of security plus there's a gang of keystone hired assassins doing whatever - who knows, who cares? If you like your drama with F*** as every other word then that helps too, but frankly it just grates after a time..... "Hey Tim you can swear in this program". "**** me, that's ****ing great, I'll ****ing remember to ****ing do that in every ****ing line I get ****ing given


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RE: What program/film/documentary are you watching now? - 9/29/2017 5:57:32 AM   
Orm


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No, I am not watching Tin Star. I had not even heard of the show until you mentioned it.

I am currently re-watching the Horblower movies. Have now reached Loyalty and the fun is almost over. To bad that they couldn't make more than three of the books into movies.

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