Last Year in Viet Nam

Last Year in Viet Nam ★½

Oliver Stone '85-'05 Marathon - Bonus Short
(watched this with the doc for Born on the Fourth of July)

Watched for Veterans Day. Stone was one of the first directors I started following, as he was making dynamic, impactful films right when I was old enough to start picking films apart and not just escaping into them. I'm well familiar with his major films, so for this revisit, I'm watching docs or listening to commentary on the films I already know very well. The DVD for "America" came with this short, which Stone made as a student in film school.

This is honestly just about everything I hate about old New York student art films. It's in black and white. All the dialogue is in a French voiceover, and it's philosophical waxing that barely has any coherence and sounds more like bad poetry. There's no actual dialogue or plot or character development, it's just a tone. It features young Oliver himself moping around in what seems a mix of places, at first looks like Hanoi, then New York maybe? It's incoherent, and mostly what you'll get from it is a whole lot of naked Oliver. Naked on a balcony, naked walking around an apartment, naked taking a crap. He covers the ol purple parsnip with a variety of carefully placed objects...just barely. The only thing I really see in this that connects with Stone's later tendencies is a bit of self-seriousness and a tendency to expose this case literally.

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