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Early photo of Lansdale. Source unknown

Of, By, and For the People: Lansdale’s Strategic Failure in Vietnam

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Major General Edward Geary Lansdale is one of the most influential US military figures to emerge from the Cold War, but his is an ambiguous legend, with the sites of his most notable “victories”: the Philippines and Vietnam continuously embroiled in violent political conflicts for decades after his illustrious departure. How could seemingly successful operations that […]

Terraced fields in Sa Pa

“What the fuck has anything got to do with Vietnam?”

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“What the fuck has anything got to do with Vietnam?” asks the ‘little’ Lebowski at the end of the Coen Brothers’ modern, pre-Inherent Vice stoner-Noir classic, The Big Lebowski. In the film, Lebowski’s friend, the self-righteous Vietnam veteran Walter Sobchak (memorably played by John Goodman,) constantly attempts to relate every new experience to the Vietnam War, much to his […]

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Mystery & Suspense in The Lodger

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Xs111uH9ss[/youtube] You can only get the Suspense element going by giving the audience information.—Alfred Hitchcock Suspense, Hitch always insisted, was fundamentally different from Mystery. Because the press so often mislabeled his movies as Mysteries, he took more than one occasion to get specific about the difference. The most famous of these was in an interview […]

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Mise-en-scene & Concentrated Exposition in John Huston’s
In This Our Life

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1942’s In This Our Life has become a footnote in John Huston‘s esteemed filmography. Coming after the knock-down drag-out success of his first film, The Maltese Falcon—its powerful, and historically unusual, portrayal of institutional racism is electrifying, but it is this subplot alone that garners any and all critical affection the film receives. This last, as a matter of fact, […]