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Vi Lê

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Introduction

Vietnam war in Hollywood movies
During Vietnam War time
The 'Other' need to be dominated because they are inferior. (Fomotar, 2007)
After Vietnam War time
A whole new war episode in Vietnam was created due to filmmakers and producers' weakness and shortcoming in making Vietnam War movies only by relying on stereotype from history books and ethnographic materials, rather than practical knowledge. (Nguyen, 2009)

Both US army or Vietcong soldier are the victims of the war. They both fight for their missions, their lives, to come back to their family. Both suffered the loss caused by the war.
The Vietnam War (1955-1975): Hollywood's best-sellers subject (Llacer & Enjuto, 1998)
The representation of Vietnam and the people in Hollywood movies.
A comparison to Vietnamese movies.
Vietnam was represented as very poor, uncivilized, massacred by Vietcong and they are need help from others (American).
+ Green Berets (1968): America`s struggle for freedom and justice in Vietnam.
+ The Quite American (version 1958): Amẻrican-the side of liberty of good. Communists - uncivilized, barbaric, or plain evil.
Vietnam - hell of the world
A dangerous, savage and devastated country
which was hit so hard the war.

+ The Deer Hunter (1978):
Beautiful and peaceful Pennsylvania town contrast to the hell of Vietnam jungle. (Llacer & Enjuto, 1998)
Dark, wild Vietnam jungle and barbarous Vietcong are the nightmare inversion of the American forests and beautiful deer. (Hellman, 1982)
+ Apocalypse Now (1979):
Flares, darkness, sounds of bombs and bullets, screams and hysterical laughs at the same time, dead and injured bodies everywhere.
“You’re in an asshole of the world, captain!” (Coppola, 1979)
Life is cheap in the Orient
Apocalypse Now (1979): (Nguyen, 2009)
- An American soldier delivered cards to dead Vietcong bodies -> they are cards, not humans; they do not have names or lives.

- At the air strike: American soldiers: feeling excited, telling jokes, playing loud music, while killing people.

- The boat massacre: Vietnamese people are nothing more than a dog.

Platoon (1986):
After Vietnam War time
Faceless enemy
Vietnamese: underrepresented or simply ignored; faceless, voiceless and mostly uncivilized; do not have a story, a life or a character. -> the background of the film. (Nguyen, 2009)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
+ A glimpse of a crowed Saigon street far into the distance. The voice is indistinct.

+ Bunny Girl show: hundreds of American soldiers sit around a stage, whereas behind, Vietnamese gather around the wire fence curiously watching the show. Many of the men and children are topless; their bodies are skinny and dirty.

-> No depth in portrayal of Vietnamese.
Yellow Peril stereotype
- Combines racist terror of alien cultures, sexual anxieties, and the belief that the West will be overpowered and enveloped by the irresistible, dark, occult forces of the East. (Woodman, 2003)
- Women: a colonial governments' obsession that Western male & female turn into passion to Asian people. (Kleinen, 2003)
+ In Hollywood movies:
depicted nothing better than sex objects or pleasure and entertainment mates. (Fomotar, 2007)

+ In Vietnam movies:
Not only caretakers, supporters, but also combatants -> a Vietnamese tradition. (Nguyen, 2009)
"When the aggressor comes, women also fight".

Yellow Peril stereotype
-In Vietnam War movies: this stereotype is reduced to Viet Cong, Saigon regime, or nearly every Asian against the white protagonists. (Kleinen, 2003)
- In Hollywood movies: Vietnamese soldiers are cunning, dirty, cruel, lascivious, sub-human, even sadistic & ambivalent. (Woodman, 2003)

- In Vietnam movies:

-> the yellow peril is no longer wartime propaganda, but functions of exploring the horrors of Vietnam for American soldiers. -> revising America’s loss in Vietnam. (Woodman, 2003)
- Hollywood filmmakers' tactic: transform the shamefulness military defeat into heroism and victimization. (Llacer & Enjuto, 1998)
Rambo: First Blood part II (1985)
The Deẻr Hunter(1987)
The Quite Amẻican(1958)
Green berets (1968)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Platoon (1986)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Quite Amẻican (2002)
The Quite Amẻican (1958)
Hambủger Hill
The abadoned Field (1979)
Fomotar, M. 2007, Social Misrepresentations in Hollywood War Movies, University for Peace, Costa Rica.
¢Hellmann, J. 1982, Vietnam and Hollywood Genre Film: Inversions of American Mythology in the Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now, American Quarterly Journal, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 418-439.
¢Kleinen, J. 2003, ‘Framing ‘‘the Other’’. A critical review of Vietnam war movies and their representation of Asians and Vietnamese’, Asia Europe Journal, vol.1, no.3, pp. 433-451.
¢Llacer, E.V. & Enjuto, E. 1998, ‘Coping Strategies: Three Decades of Vietnam War in Hollywood’, Journal of FILMS-HISTORIA, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 3-27.
¢McInerney, P. 1980, ‘Apocalypse Then: Hollywood Looks Back at Vietnam’, Film Quarterly Journal, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 21-32.
¢Nguyen, N. 2009, Representation of Vietnam in Vietnamese and U.S. War Films: A Comparative Semiotic study of Canh Dong Hoang and Apocalypse Now, School of Journalism and Communication, Hanoi, Vietnam.
¢Woodman, B.J. 2003, ‘A Hollywood War of Wills: Cinematic Representation of Vietnamese Super-Soldiers and America’s Defeat in the War’, Journal of Film and Video, vol.3, no.3, pp. 44-56.
Saigon Ranger
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