No Man’s Land

Post responses to the movie in the comments field below.

Dreams Assignment – Kayli Hildebrand


The Otherness in Apocalypse Now

“The real ‘enemy’ the Americans were fighting was themselves,’ (2010). Apocalypse Now not only portrays a view about the Vietnam War that mostly affected the mind of the soldiers, it also portrays how much insanity and murder surrounded it. Horror in every form, explicit massacre, and a complete nightmare. The ‘other’ is the not knowing feature of what will happen to them. The unpredictable outcome of moving along the river without knowing what they’re destined to. Personally I can describe this movie as intense because I was a little nervous about what was going to happen next. Even in the part when we see Chef and Willard walking in the jungle in search of mangos and they hear a noise, thinking it could be a Vietnamese, when in fact it was a tiger. Their lives were filled with the unpredictable.

Themes of otherness best portrayed in the movie were also the idea that in order to come home you only had two options; dying or winning the war. The film’s voyage through the river takes us into several events where we see many Vietnamese dying, U.S. soldiers dying, helicopters destroyed, flames everywhere, people in pieces, kids running, crying, hurt, bleeding, burned, women and men shot at. Death surrounds everybody. There was no winning only death.


Richardson, M. (2010). Otherness in Hollywood Cinema. New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.

All Quiet on the Western Front Discussion

All Quiet on the Western Front still image from film


Read the article “War, Memory, and Politics,” and contribute to discussion in the comments field below this post.

Apocalypse Now Discussion



In Michael Richardson’s book,  Otherness in Hollywood Cinema, he states, “No film in Hollywood history, I think, has directly confronted themes of otherness in a more complex or a more uncomfortable way than  Apocalypse Now. (pg. 139).   What “themes of otherness’ struck you in the film, and what does this film tell you about who the “other’ is? Contribute to discussion in the comments section of this post, to be found below.

Read Chapter 8 of his book to help you analyze the question. (Click above link; available electronically through UAF library)

You may also want to look at the article by  Margot Norris,  ‘Modernism and Vietnam: Francis Ford Coppala’s Apocalypse Now.’

Kurosawa’s Dreams Discussion



The character and plot line of a short film is distinctly different from that of a feature. After seeing  Akira Kurosawa’s Dream’s,  write a 2-3 page paper (typed/double-spaced) examining the structure of one of these short films and it’s relationship to the the other seven films in  Dreams. How do you think these structures relate to other Japanese art forms (namely literature or theatre), or compared to other film(s) by Kurosawa?

11’09″01 September 11 Discussion



Choose two of the eleven short films of the anthology 11″09’01 to compare and contrast.   Provide a short biography of each of the directors, then compare and contrast how the films depicted  time, place, and perspective.

Post your compare/contrast thoughts to the discussion in the comments below this post, and be sure to comment on your peer’s work while you’re there!

Tsotsi Discussion



In the manifesto: “Towards a Third Cinema”  by Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, they state:

“The anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of the Third World and of their equivalents inside the imperialist countries constitutes today the axis of the world revolution. Third cinema is, in our opinion, the cinema that recognizes in that struggle the most gigantic cultural, scientific, and artistic manifestation of our time, the great possibility of constructing a liberated personality with each people as the starting point – in a word, the decolonization of culture.”

In your opinion, do you think the ideals of Third Cinema are alive today? Give examples as to why or why not based on films seen for this class in the comments field below this post.

Paradise Now Discussion

Paradise now


Hany Abu-Assad had a difficult time making this movie.  The crew had to survive a missile attack on one occasion and a location scout was kidnapped.  The director said that in retrospect  he never would have made the film had he known the violence he would face.  Even more, it is difficult for a Western mind to comprehend the logic of a suicide bomber attack–why an individual’s beliefs would allow him to “self-destruct.’  Comment on how Paradise Now, by both character content and technical means, deconstructs or opens up the mind to help the viewer contemplate the “unthinkable’ decision to become a suicide bomber.

The Hurt Locker Discussion

hurt locker



Some military friends of mine have scoffed at the technical portrayal of defusing bombs presented in The Hurt Locker, citing inaccuracies such as the fact that such a small bomb-defusing crew would be sent out alone, and that crews were more accustomed to responding to situations than sniffing for bombs on deserted streets.  Other soldiers have defended the overall “truth’ or “feel’ of the movie as representing the experience adequately, if in broad strokes.    Thus we run up against the question of verisimilitude, or what I like to call truth effect.    To what extent are films that are not documentary responsible to getting technical details right.  Is there something in the idiom of film that presents special challenges, or requires a certain latitude?