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This movie is a fantastic account of Tim Page's experience of Vietnam.
Although the common belief is that "the media made the US lose the war
in Vietnam", we see that most journalists were sitting around in 5-star
hotels attending press conferences held by the Army. The only truly
subversive reporters were the war photographers like Page who went to
the frontlines and sent back images that conflicted with the version of
the Pentagon spinmasters... and a picture is hard to refute.
Page himself was a casualty of the war: he was injured multiple times, lost part of his brain, and became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Frankie's house is a brothel where Page and his colleagues lived; they lived in the fast lane and it caught up with them fast. Most of Page's colleagues died in the war... somewhere along the way he won award after award and many of the most memorable photos of the war were in fact shot by Page.
A must see film full of interesting characters... It was later learnt that Flynn, his best friend, also a photographer and son of the famous actor Errol Flynn, who disappeared in the film was in fact ambushed and executed in the jungle.
I fear though that the profession of fearless war photographer is dead... most journalists just phone it in now. After seeing Frankie's House you understand why...
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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