Good Morning Vietnam (1987)

Day 48: 14/04/2021

Good Morning Vietnam, Barry Levinson

A movie that says a lot without saying them => which is the heart of filmmaking.

A movie that touches the core of humanity with its notions of love, friendship and war.

GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM, from left: Robin Williams, Chintara Sukapatana, 1987. ©Buena Vista

The bit where What a Wonderful World plays by Louis Armstrong over war footage in Vietnam is a great example of golden rule of filmmaking, which is “Show Don’t Tell”.

When the only part of the movie “tells” , what it wants to “tell”, it happens in a very profound way through Tuan crying and shouting at us saying that the American soldiers are not helping anyone there away from their country, they are only causing more civilians to die.

Look at his look. It says a lot.

He is centered in a close up, and the focus is on him and his background is completely blurred because there is nothing else important here than his look and his words. Here, he is also breaking the fourth wall speaking directly to the viewer. It is not Cronauer he is talking to anymore, it is us. We are to blame as humans not saying anything to the wrong we see with our society.

Everybody is alone in a movie theatre, yet it is still a collective experience – just like the society. We all think we are alone, and too small and what we do – good or bad – don’t really make a difference, but it does. We are all responsible whether we are the most responsible or not.

The movie greatly represents how more than what is shown is happening in Vietnam which is like a micro laboratory of all the world events. It shows how the brutality of reality is hidden and how an entertainer who portrays it, is advantageous for the people who are the source of this reality. That “entertainer”, although he criticizes what is going on, is also a gear of the wheel which is turning the whole system around.

In terms of its creative look, the grainy footage with real colours give it a great analog feel which is what we associate war photographs with. Tones of green can be seen all around – representing both the jungles of Vietnam and uniforms of soldiers but overall there is also a colourfullness throughout Vietnam shots, just like the local life there.

Although Cronauer seems to be protesting the existing systems, he is still a part of it and he unintentionally blends in with it.
The place where is fought upon to be brought peace, is already a colorful, flowery, peaceful place.
The Contrast. This movie is built on very successful uses of contrasts.

Loved the close up shot of their feet while Cronauer and Tuan are running, the first wears military boots while the latter only wears a version of outdoor slippers. Although we know the strategic role those slippers played in the role on the Vietkong side, this shot also shows the inequality of the fighting gear those two sides have.

Here is a shot from Alternative Posters Exhibition by Michal Krasnopolski

You can see more on: https://www.behance.net/gallery/57066505/Good-Morning-Vietnam

and yeah I just have to say that I really miss Robin Williams. ❤

Paterson (2016)

Day 47: 03 / 04 / 2021

Paterson, Jim Jarmusch

A story told through the ordinary details of a week => we see them wake up in different positions every day, portrays their love and connection very well.

Isn’t that what poetry is? Ordinary details of our lives. Tarkovsky would like this movie for being so plain and limpid.

Coincidences that hang in the air such as the twins that keep coming up after Laura says that in her dream she saw that they were having twins. Isn’t life like that? There are so many coincidences we can’t explain yet they keep on happening. Beautiful details to ordinary lives.

Other beautiful details from this movie:

  • How Laura is obsessed with textures, and lines and black and white
  • How plain the whole movie is, too plain at some points, but just like Paterson’s poetry
  • How Paterson listens to the conversations in the bus, they are excerpts from the heart of life
  • How Paterson is not ready to share his poems, like a real artist, artistic struggles – not like people who are way too eager to share everything on Instagram

Not everyone’s cup of tea because people are used to stories having a beginning, middle and end. However, once you get in the grip of watching movies just for the sake of watching them, to see the bare reality it shows you which doesn’t necessarily need start or end anywhere, where things can remain unexplained, because in life some things are unexplained – you start really enjoying these types of movies.

Here is a link to the Paterson press conference at Cannes Film Festival: