The First and mostly the Second World Wars have been often supported by Hollywood, which produced many propaganda movies. For instance even the classic Casablanca by Michael Curtiz had been shot in order to glorify the French Resistance and the US Army. But during the 1970s, we can observe a real breaking-off between Hollywood and the war (G. Chaubert, www.thucyclide.com). Only one movie, The Green Berets (Ray Kellogg, 1968), has been directed during the Vietnam War. This pro-war action movie with John Wayne was an exception. In fact, all the other movies on the Vietnam, which have all been shot after the war, show the unpopularity of the Vietnam War. Those movies bring the audience to think about the war by denouncing its negative effects.
They also highlight the fact that the State turns the soldiers into killing machines. (T. Dirks, www.filmsite.org). To analyze this phenomenon, we can focus on two major movies: Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola in 1979, which was one of the first movies dealing with the Vietnam War, and Full Metal Jacket, directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1987. We can first compare the plots, atmospheres and structures of these movies, and then their relationships to history.
[...] Coppola shows how the Army was turning a blind eye on all these traffics. As a conclusion, we can say that Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket are very dissimilar in their structure, their atmosphere and their means. However, Stanley Kubrick and Francis Ford Coppola had the same goals. They wanted to discredit the Army and to show the nonsense of the war. Both directors tried to give an impression of chaos without explaining the historical context of the Vietnam War. [...]
[...] On the contrary, the action of Full Metal Jacket takes place in America and then in Vietnam. The originality of Full Metal Jacket is that Kubrick shot the Vietnamese fight scenes in a disused factory complex in England. Full Metal Jacket is the only Vietnam War movie fixed in an urban context and not in the jungle (B. Krohn, Les Cahiers du Cinéma). This give a strange mood to the movie, very dissimilar from Apocalypse Now's atmosphere. In fact, the atmospheres and styles of both movies are very different for several reasons. [...]
[...] In Apocalypse Now, Army Captain Willard, who is breaking down in a hotel room due to alcohol and heat, gets a new mission: he has to find Colonel Kurtz. This renegade has set up a real empire in a local community, where he is considered as a God. While Willard is looking for him, he goes across Vietnam, witnessing for instance the Napalm bombings. Then, the dissimilarities of plots bring differences in the sets. In fact, Apocalypse Now has been shot on location and the scene takes place in the Vietnamese jungle. [...]
[...] Similarly, some scenes of Apocalypse Now are voluntary confused. This structure shows the nonsense, of the war. Moreover, with the absence of any historical background, it gives a view of the war from the inside. Apocalypse Now is then very close to the soldiers and their chaotic view of the Vietnam War (S. Daney, Les Cahiers du Cinéma). We can now compare these both movies in their relationships with history. Kubrick thought that Full Metal Jacket could take place in any other war. [...]
[...] They preferred to show a certain mood and the impressions of the soldiers. Bibliography ← Daney S. (1979), Apocalypse Now, Les Cahiers du Cinéma 45-48. ← Krohn B. (1987), Le Film-Cerveau, Full Metal Jacket, Les Cahiers du Cinéma 9-12/ ← Virilio P. (1987), Permis de détruire, Full Metal Jacket, Les Cahiers du Cinéma 29-30. ← Zimmer J. (1979), Les apocalypses du Vietnam, La Revue du Cinéma 28-36. ← Chaubert G., Apocalypse Now, http://www.thucydide.com/realisations/voir/analyses/apocalypse.htm ← Dirks T., War and Anti-war films, http://www.filmsite.org/warfilms4.html .05. [...]
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