Vision A – Vietnam War – Apocalypse Now – Research

Dear all,

After our meeting on the 10th March, some of us find it difficult to begin our research in relation to our specific areas of discussion. I’m sharing one method that can quickly help us to build up bibliography here – using JSTOR:

Jstor

1. Go to www.jstor.org and type in your research keywords – Apocalypse Now.

2. In the subject area (the bottom circle in red), you can choose the disciplinaries / academic field you would like to focus on. For example, Li wants to bring in East Asian perspectives on the Vietnam War and the film, then she can choose to filter the results with ‘Asian Studies’; Gabi wants to discuss ‘female’ characters in the film so she can filter the result with ‘Feminist and Women’s studies’.

3. After ticking the relevant fields, you can click update result (the middle circle in red), then you can find academic discussions in relation to both the film and your specific topics.

Hope this helps! If I come across any particularly interesting viewpoints and relevant materials for you, I will also write them in replies to this blog post.

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Because our main material is the film, perhaps we should incorporate more details/proofs from the film itself. When reading academic resources from disciplines other than Film Studies, I often find scholars tend to limit their discussion to the plot and characterisation. However, there is a lot more than just those two aspects in a film: the editing, colouring, details of performance, camerawork angle/movement, music, soundtrack… are all decisions made by the filmmakers, and these decisions shape our experience and understanding of the film. If wish to discuss your points with closer attention to the film, please let me know, I’m more than happy to chat about it.

4 thoughts on “Vision A – Vietnam War – Apocalypse Now – Research

  1. Thanks Celin for the heads up!
    It would be great to incorporate your specialism of Film Studies within my topic area because all of our topics are influenced by Francis Ford Coppola’s vision, directing the film. Therefore, learning about how the effects portray his vision like ‘the editing, camerawork angle/movement’ will be exciting to learn.

    • I have found it difficult to find sources using this category in JSTOR, however using Google Scholar I have been able to find sources. Just a word of warning to all!

    • I can write up an overall review, and write for a particular section that you intend to include in your analysis. I will do that soon. However, for further discussion, it is better when we discuss the film in person and watch particular sections of the film together.

      Also, a film is often a collective effort, rather than just the director. Many of the decisions are made by people other than the director, for example, industry decision-maker, or film editor, colourist, composer etc. We need to be careful when calling the film… They may also have imagined and considered what the audience wanted to see because the film is fundamentally a commercial commodity – We need to be cautious when addressing it as the vision of the director.

  2. Thanks for this, Cilin, and also Gabi! Both Jstor and Google scholar are great but I would also recommend that you search via the King’s Library search.

    As Cilin points out, it might be useful to explore some of the ‘collective’ aspects of the film, particularly given its length and importance. Looking into the practicalities and behind the scenes realities of making the film might help solidify some of the claims that you are making about it.

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