Cameras, Truth, and War Stories: Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now

35 years after the fact, the Vietnam War remains a divisive event in American history. Anti-communist sentiment stemming from the Cold War was tempered by an increasing desire for isolationism within the American populace, and both of these viewpoints were complicated by the introduction of a media presence in Vietnam which allowed news to be transported from the front faster than ever before. (more…)

The Story in History: Examining Apocalypse Now by looking at The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien says, "A grenade sails out. One guy jumps on it and takes the blast, but it's a killer grenade and everybody dies anyway. Before they die though, one of the dead guys says, 'The fuck you do that for?' and the jumper says, 'Story of my life, man,' and the other guy starts to smile but he's dead. That's a true war story that never happened" (83-4). (more…)

Fiction Makes History in Apocalypse Now

All stories may be fiction, but all of history is open to interpretation. Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now took fictional representation of a factual subject to a new level in the film's depiction of the Vietnam War. Coppola's blurred lines between narrative fiction and historical fact have caused debate over crediting the film as an historical film or as one of mere entertainment. (more…)