In 1964 in Laos, young Tim Page discovers his vocation as a photojournalist and is given a job, a camera, and a trip to Vietnam. There, he learns the ropes, learns about the war first in ... See full summary »
In 1964 in Laos, young Tim Page discovers his vocation as a photojournalist and is given a job, a camera, and a trip to Vietnam. There, he learns the ropes, learns about the war first in Saigon, and then "in country" on patrol with troops. He and his colleagues, including the sons of Errol Flynn and John Steinbeck, capture the war in pictures, recover from their wounds, swap stories, battle censorship, and support each other between the explosions at the brothel run by Tranh Ki: "Frankie's House". Written by
A contemporary journalist described Tim Page as a strange young man, who had the habit of running towards explosions and pillars of smoke and flame instead of from them. He was forever moving like a salmon against the stream of people. This willingness to take any risk is one of the things that set his pictures from Vietnam apart from the pictures by everyone else. As far as I know, this is the best account yet of what Tim Page was like, and that alone makes it a necessary watch. As a bonus, the series also tells a little something about The War. The Vietnam war in itself was bizarre enough, the drugs merely gave it more color. Frankie's House describes these less-than-ordinary times extremely well. The journalists, the hard-working professionals, the nutjobs, the careful pros staying behind in the hotel bar, the hookers and the ever-present military and "white mice" all get portrayed. The series describes a handful of very special people during a very special time, and for anyone interested in the Vietnam War it sits naturally next to Apocalypse Now and a handful of books (like Michael Herr's "Dispatches") that each tell a point of view of something too complex to sum up in a single volume.
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