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  • Arts of War on the Web » Drama
    Row in New York The off Broadway production starring Jonny Orsini as a recently returned Marine Vietnam veteran and directed by Michael Parva is running through October 12 The play is carefully and beautifully written speeding along at a sparse eighty minutes one critic wrote Within those precious minutes Mr Anderson weaves a complex tale of the homecoming of Johnny Barnett who has been granted a 72 hour leave before having to report to Camp Pendleton California Mr Anderson uses an economy of words and of action that propels the play at a brisk pace Beginning with Mr Anderson s inspired writing and Mr Parva s clear direction the quintet of actors tell the story of Johnny s homecoming in a compelling and moving way It is clear that we are being told a complex tale of wars being fought in many theaters and at many levels Posted on October 1st 2014 in Drama On Stage Plays Robin Williams 1951 2014 Most of the obituaries and appreciations of Robin Williams who committed suicide on August 11 mentioned the fact that his breakout acting role came in the film Good Morning Vietnam and that he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting What few if any said was that the character Williams played in G ood Will Hunting Dr Sean Maguire at right in the above photo was a Vietnam veteran a strong smart and good hearted one Those three attributes are rare to non existent in Vietnam veteran characters on screen Here s what we wrote about Williams and that film in the Arts of War column in the April May 1998 issue of The VVA Veteran My guess is that it barely registered with most people But it s a good bet that nearly every Vietnam veteran who saw the serious minded and entertaining dramatic film Good Will Hunting picked up on the fact that the brilliant funny sad psychologist played by Robin Williams served in Vietnam and later counseled veterans of the war The character Dr Sean Maguire played achingly well by Williams is a hero a self effacing man who knows many things and proves to be an astute effective analyst The fact that Sean is a vet comes up only once when the title character Will Hunting the working class young genius played by Matt Damon notices an in country photo in Sean s office The two banter about it for a few seconds and that s it But for the rest of the film we are aware that Sean s Vietnam War service is an integral part of his psychic makeup which also includes a hard knocks working class upbringing in Boston s South End and a deep personal post war tragedy The good news is that director Gus Van Sant s Good Will Hunting has a Vietnam veteran central character who is smart savvy empathic and altruistic The riveting craftily plotted script was written by 27 year

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/drama/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » Games
    a dedication wall in the game to honor veterans If you d like your name on the wall or would like to add another veteran s email WG WORTHINGTONGAMES COM For more info on the game itself go to the Worthington web site Posted on November 4th 2009 in Games Contents Unsung Heroes Art Exhibit in Boston Bobbie Ann Mason Receives Kentucky Literary Honor Creative Writing Contest The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans Veterans in Politics radio The Photography of Muhammad Abdus Sabur in NYC New VN War Exhibit Opens at Army Heritage Center in Carlisle Pa New HBO Doc on Richard Holbrooke Jefferson Starship Free Concert in D C Nov 8 American Boys Wins Big Book Honor Eddie Adams Enduring Vietnam War Photos Children of the April Rain Play in D C Nov 10 The Draft New Vietnam War Play Tony Gleaton 1948 2015 Don Oberdorfer 1931 2015 Herbert Schandler 1928 2015 Search for Categories Archives Art Art Exhibits Artistic Queries Arts on the Web Book News Book Talk Comic Books Comments Conferences Dance Documentaries Drama Essays Events Feature Films Fiction Games History Honors and Prizes In the Classroom Journalism Journals Magazines Memorials Museums Music Musicals Obituaries On DVD On Line On Stage On TV Opera Photography Plays Poetry Radio Sculpture TV Series Uncategorized Vietnam War Archives February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/games/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » In the Classroom
    H W Bush and from Vietnam War veteran writers Tim O Brien Larry Heinemann John Clark Pratt Philip Caputo and The VVA Veteran s Arts Editor Marc Leepson In 1989 McCloud put those responses in his book What Should We Tell our Children About Vietnam It makes for fascinating reading even today twenty five years after it was published by the University of Oklahoma Press Posted on November 9th 2012 in Book News Essays In the Classroom Veterans Writing Project Free D C Seminar Nov 5 6 The Veterans Writing Project will hold two days of seminars November 5 6 at George Washington University in Washington D C This free series of seminars is open to all veterans as well as to current active duty and reserve service members along with military family members The sessions include instruction on many elements of writing such as setting scene dialogue narrative structure and point of view The seminars are led by writers who have served in America s wars You can register by sending an email to info veteranswriting org with the following information Name Service Connection veteran active service or reservist family member and period of service Writing form s fiction non fiction poetry or still figuring that out Previous writing experience and or classes The George Washington University s Veterans Services Office and the University Writing Program are sponsoring the seminars For more information go to the VWP s website Posted on October 22nd 2011 in Conferences In the Classroom Richard Currey Veteran Writers Workshop Richard Curry the former Vietnam War Navy corpsman whose novel Fatal Light is among the best literary treatments of the war will be taking part in a series of workshops called Veterans Tell Their Stories March 12 13 at Marshall University in Huntington in Currey s home state of West Virginia Currey along with Iraq War veteran and short story writer James Mathews will read from his work do a round table discussion and conduct workshops Although the target audience is veterans of all eras the event is open to all and is free For more information or to register in advance for a workshop call 304 696 6637 or email vankirk marshall edu Posted on March 4th 2010 in Book News Conferences In the Classroom Boots to Books Goes Nationwide Citrus College in Glendora California is now offering its entire Boots to Books curriculum which is aimed at helping young returning veteran college students to any college or university for a moderate charge which goes to help support the College s veterans program and organization For more information go to the Boots to Books website The Citrus College program is run by Bruce O Solheim an Army veteran and history professor who has taught the history of the war on the collegiate level for fourteen years Solheim also serves as the College s Volunteer Veterans Coordinator Posted on October 14th 2009 in In the Classroom Ten Years of Lessons of Vietnam The latest Bridges

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/in-the-classroom/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » Magazines
    it Caputo the Pulitzer Prize winning former journalist who served as a U S Marine lieutenant in Vietnam and whose memoir A Rumor of War remains among the best of its genre reflects on a recent road trip he took that is the subject of his upcoming book The Longest Road Overland in Search of America From Key West to the Arctic Ocean The article contains excerpts from a conversation Caputo had recently with William Least Heat Moon the a uthor of Blue Highways and PrairyErth A Deep Map His latest book Here There Elsewhere Stories From the Road is a collection of short travel essays For more info on Caputo s new book go to his website Posted on July 15th 2013 in Book News Magazines Photographer Looking For Veterans going to VN in January Catherine Karnow a National Geographic photographer who has been documenting Vietnam for twenty one years for that august publication as well as for other magazines and books is putting the final touches on a presentation about that country for the National Geographic Live Speakers Bureau I have one gaping hole in my coverage of Vietnam though Karnow told us and that is the story of American veterans returning to Vietnam for reasons of healing reconciliation and personal growth She is planning to go to Vietnam on January 15 for two weeks and is very much hoping to find a group of Vietnam veterans going in this time period Ideally a really interesting situation of some kind would be a real plus If you re part of a Vietnam veterans group going to Vietnam then Karnow would love to hear from you Email her ASAP at catherinekarnow yahoo com or call 415 928 3232 or 415 305 8181 If you do tell her that you read about the project on The VVA Veteran s Arts of War on the web page Posted on January 7th 2013 in Artistic Queries Magazines Photography Jeff Stein on Spycraft Former VVA Veteran editor Jeff Stein had an interesting article in the February 12 edition of The Washington Post Magazine In What Makes a Perfect Spy Tick Stein examines the lives of intelligence operatives in several wars He also delves into his experiences working in Vietnam in Army intelligence during the war I spent a year living undercover and running a spy net Stein writes But other than connecting briefly with a secret courier on a deserted beach every few days and slipping into decrepit hotels for meetings with my top spy it wasn t anything like the scenario we had been trained for to dispatch agents into Soviet occupied Eastern Europe from West Berlin Nevertheless Stein writes his service in the Vietnam War was the most interesting and perhaps meaningful thing I ve ever done The mission to prevent or disrupt rocket attacks on Danang or U S troops was important The war stunk but I wasn t shooting at anybody and I was good at being a spy

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/magazines/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » Memorials
    strange events leading up to the August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident which led to the congressional resolution that paved the way for the massive U S escalation of the Vietnam War Also in this issue David Willson s The Aftermath Vietnam Veteran Poets Confront the Peace a feature article examining Vietnam veteran poets adjustment to peace and to the war generated demons that afflict them and Mary Bruzzese s look at the recent dedication of the Texas Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin and the role that members of Vietnam Veterans of America played in turning their vision of the Texas state Vietnam veterans memorial into stone and bronze Plus much more Posted on July 19th 2014 in Essays History Magazines Memorials Poetry The Wall The Greatest Modern American Memorial The current issue of The New Yorker contains a long informative article by Adam Gopnik on the new New York City 9 11 Memorial Museum In it Gopnik the magazine s noted art critic goes over the history of American public memorialization In doing so he good things to say about Maya Lin s Vietnam Veterans Memorial which he calls the greatest of modern American memorials Lin s design he writes pursued the line of minimal geometric abstraction with a radical passion taking the classical purity of the American tradition and of the Great War memorials and further stripping them of any overt symbolism The astonishing success of The Wall following initial criticism of its design he writes was a marker in the triumph of American abstraction no one could any longer argue that pure form was incapable of expressing profound emotion The laconic eloquence of the minimal gesture its potent lack of insincere rhetoric and overstatement was apparent The Vietnam Veterans Memorial he concludes remains the model memorial for our time the polished wall a sound board for the individual lament Posted on July 9th 2014 in Magazines Memorials The Living Memorial Sculpture Garden in Calif Back in 1988 a group of veterans in Northern California got together and founded the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden The veterans convinced the U S Park Service to help them honor those who have served in the nation s armed forces by turning over 136 acres of land to be used for the Garden on the northwestern slope of Mt Shasta in Siskiyou County California not far south of the Oregon border The Garden which today is sponsored and maintained by the Kiwanis Club of Weed Lake Shastina has been planted with tens of thousands of trees to honor those who have perished in the nation s wars Enhancing the site is the sculpture garden itself the work of Dennis Smith a former Marine who served with Bravo Company 1 26 in Vietnam during the Siege of Khe Sanh The sculptures at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden are beautiful depictions of the human form as we might view it engaged in war and yet at the same time reacting to the atrocities of

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/memorials/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » Musicals
    troops in Vietnam during the war you naturally think of the Bob Hope USO extravaganzas But the U S military also provided lots of stage entertainment including rock music by Philippine bands comedians from the states and folk soul country and rock bands and even musical comedies performed by Special Service GI s under a unit called the Command Military Touring Shows That includes 1969 70 run of the famed Off Off Broadway sensation The Fantasticks put together by a group of eleven soldiers and one female civilian employee There s a great article about that not very well known production in the current issue of Esopus the eccentric eclectic glossy black and white nonprofit arts magazine The article OFF OFF OFF BROADWAY is an oral history by four of the GI s who were in the show Rick Holen Joe Mauro John Nutt and Bob Sevra The GIs seemed to be transported to another plane of existence during the performances Holen says The play lasted only about an hour and a half but for that short period of time we felt that we could put at least a temporary stop to the death and devastation the boredom and total terror of war The audiences would sometimes give us a standing ovation for five minutes That is the magic of theater Posted on May 12th 2009 in Magazines Musicals Remembering the Vietnam War course at Chautauqua in July VVA life member Ira Cooperman once again this year will be teaching the Remembering the Vietnam War course at the Chautauqua Institution in New York Cooperman who served as a USAF intelligence officer in Vietnam and Thailand in 1965 66 developed the course last year with Bob Hopper a former Foreign Service Officer The course is part of Chautauqua s Special Studies program of weekly classes and will be held from July 27 31 from 9 00 10 15 a m Cooperman and Hopper will examine the history impact and consequences of America s involvement in Vietnam and Southeast Asia from 1955 75 through personal experiences literature and films During once class last summer the instructors and students discussed Tim O Brien s The Things They Carried This summer they will be discussing one of Philip Caputo s works You can read the entire course description at the Special Studies page If any VVA member is interested in registering for this summer s course I d be pleased to help them through the process Cooperman told us Email him at ibcooperman aol com Posted on May 6th 2009 in In the Classroom Musicals Photography Hair Again on Broadway The good old rock musical Hair opened on Broadway once again on March 31 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and the reviews were uniformly positive The latest revival of the more than 40 year old sixties American Tribal Love Rock Musical played in Central Park this summer and the reaction was so positive that Hair once again is back on the Great White Way

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/musicals/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » Obituaries
    2015 Jack Ely Jack Ely the guitar player and lead singer for the Kingsmen who sang the classic rock and roll song Louie Louie died April 27 He was 71 years old In 1966 three years after he and his band mates recorded the iconic song Ely was drafted into the U S Army He served for two years but following his Army service the band never had another hit Ely said that his famed garbled singing of the words to the song was the result of having recently been fitted for braces and the rudimentary microphone the band used to try to simulate a live concert recording Posted on May 27th 2015 in Music Obituaries A J Langguth 1933 2014 A J Jack Langguth who covered the Vietnam War for The New York Times and who went on to have a long career as an author and journalism professor at the University of Southern California died on September 1 in Los Angeles The author of among many other books the award winning Our Vietnam The War 1954 1975 was 81 years old Unable to set Vietnam aside Langguth spent seven years researching and writing Our Vietnam The War 1954 1975 2000 which won acclaim for telling the Vietnamese side of the story as well as it did the American side through solid analysis mastery of detail and deft portraits of pivotal figures including Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem his Los Angeles Times obituary noted The book does not develop new arguments or explicitly address the many war issues that still divide Americans historian George C Herring wrote in his 2000 review Its strengths rather are in its skillful retelling of a well known story and in the way it captures the many dimensions of the war Here s our review of the book from the October November 2000 issue of The VVA Veteran Making History Come Alive Jack Langguth s Readable Our Vietnam There have been readable narrative histories of the American war in Vietnam There have been exhaustively researched histories of that war combining material from original interviews archival sources and the best secondary sources Now comes A J Jack Langguth s Our Vietnam The War 1954 1975 Simon Schuster 794 pp 35 a history of the Vietnam War that is both compulsively readable and thoroughly researched Langguth the former New York Times correspondent who teaches journalism at the University of Southern California focuses on American policy making in Washington particularly during the Johnson administration But he also includes fascinating material on concurrent planning by our Vietnamese allies and by the Vietnamese communists Langguth tells his story chronologically he offers no surprises But Langguth does bring something new to the table insights into some of the war s most pivotal events gleaned from interviews with lesser known but consequential American and Vietnamese eyewitnesses That group includes William Kohlmann of the CIA Viet Cong Lt Ta Minh Kham Foreign Service Officer Paul Kattenburg North Vietnamese Army Col Ta Minh Kham Nguyen Dinh Tu a one time South Vietnamese newspaper reporter and Jack Smith the veteran ABC TV News reporter who fought with the U S First Cavalry Division at the 1965 Battle of the Ia Drang Langguth also interviewed well known pivotal players and mined the best primary and secondary accounts With an eye for the telling anecdote Langguth uses dozens of individual stories to create this personality driven saga The result is a long compelling narrative The book is short on analysis but sets out the politically charged policy making story of the Vietnam War in a complete and seamless manner Posted on September 2nd 2014 in Book News History In the Classroom Journalism Obituaries Robin Williams 1951 2014 Most of the obituaries and appreciations of Robin Williams who committed suicide on August 11 mentioned the fact that his breakout acting role came in the film Good Morning Vietnam and that he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his supporting role in Good Will Hunting What few if any said was that the character Williams played in G ood Will Hunting Dr Sean Maguire at right in the above photo was a Vietnam veteran a strong smart and good hearted one Those three attributes are rare to non existent in Vietnam veteran characters on screen Here s what we wrote about Williams and that film in the Arts of War column in the April May 1998 issue of The VVA Veteran My guess is that it barely registered with most people But it s a good bet that nearly every Vietnam veteran who saw the serious minded and entertaining dramatic film Good Will Hunting picked up on the fact that the brilliant funny sad psychologist played by Robin Williams served in Vietnam and later counseled veterans of the war The character Dr Sean Maguire played achingly well by Williams is a hero a self effacing man who knows many things and proves to be an astute effective analyst The fact that Sean is a vet comes up only once when the title character Will Hunting the working class young genius played by Matt Damon notices an in country photo in Sean s office The two banter about it for a few seconds and that s it But for the rest of the film we are aware that Sean s Vietnam War service is an integral part of his psychic makeup which also includes a hard knocks working class upbringing in Boston s South End and a deep personal post war tragedy The good news is that director Gus Van Sant s Good Will Hunting has a Vietnam veteran central character who is smart savvy empathic and altruistic The riveting craftily plotted script was written by 27 year old Damon and Ben Affleck 25 who plays Will s best buddy in the movie In this movie these two young Boston born and raised Hollywood actors show they know a good deal about

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/obituaries/ (2016-02-15)
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  • Arts of War on the Web » On DVD
    and The Big Red One 1980 a semi autobiographical World War II pic Fuller served as an infantryman in North Africa and Europe with the First Infantry Division in the war Fuller was known for his low budget films and for including plenty of graphic violence in his war movies That s the case in China Gate which he produced wrote and directed and which recently was released in Blu ray by Olive Films in DVD Set in northern Vietnam in 1954 the decidedly anti communist movie tells the story of a Eurasian bar girl played by the heavily made up Angie Dickinson below and her quest to get her half American son out of the country as the French are about to be defeated To do so she volunteers to lead a mission of French Legionairres which includes her the father of her son who disavowed him because of his Asian features to the China Gate after a French officer tells her that once they get there he can smuggle the boy out of Vietnam Passionately urgently anti racist New York Times critic Dave Kehr wrote the film features Caucasian actors in its two most prominent Asian roles Appearing with Ms Dickinson is Lee Van Cleef as a cruel and cynical Viet Minh officer Posted on April 18th 2013 in Feature Films On DVD Siege of Firebase Gloria on DVD The Siege of Firebase Gloria a low budget Vietnam War combat movie that came out early in 1989 has just been released in DVD in the MGM Limited Edition Collection series The movie stars Lee Ermey as a Marine Sergeant Major in Vietnam who takes command of a remote firebase just before the 1968 Tet Offensive There s plenty of battle action in this little seen movie including a good bit of hand to hand combat Ermey holds to his Marine Drill Instructor persona as a hard bitten NCO who sneers at the enemy and goads his men into an effective fighting force against great odds Parts of the mayhem are played to the tune of the great rock song Gloria sung by Van Morrison and the group Them Directed by Brian Trenchard Smith a Brit who s know for mainly for his TV and straight to DVD work the movie was produced by an Australian company and was shot in the Philippines It was not widely released in this country and received virtually no reviews The movie did get a lot of play in Australia Lee Ermey in the movie Posted on April 25th 2012 in Feature Films On DVD New Apocalypse Blu ray HD DVD Francis Ford Coppola s iconic 1979 film Apocalypse No w has been available over the years on all the various home video formats as has Coppola s 2001 Apocalypse Now Redux which added two long scenes and other stuff and the documentary Hearts of Darkness A Filmmaker s Apocalypse in which Eleanor Coppola the director s wife shined mostly unflattering light on

    Original URL path: http://vva.org/blog/category/on-dvd/ (2016-02-15)
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