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Cameron H.

Deer Hunter

Should Deer Hunter be on the list?  

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  1. 1. Should Deer Hunter be on the list?

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  • Poll closed on 07/12/19 at 07:00 AM

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55 minutes ago, bleary said:

Yeah, and this is something that's hard to defend.  My read is that they're only Asian because it didn't make plot sense for Nick to suddenly be in Australia or South America or something, since they don't have to be Asian for the metaphor for colonialism to work (perhaps if the game is run by Caucasians, the metaphor becomes too heavy-handed, but that's hardly an excuse).  I do think a large part of the problem is that these scenes became iconic and have been parodied over and over, so an absurdly false stereotype has been created of Chinese and Vietnamese running backroom Russian roulette games.  So it seems even worse in hindsight for initiating this racist stereotype.  But it's still something that could have been changed at the time.

I mean, plot-wise it makes sense that an illegal gambling house in Asia would be run by Asian gangsters. It's more that as a whole the movie definitely engages in some classic Orientalism, in a kind of unthinking way. That's not all on The Deer Hunter, as there are PLENTY of American movies before and after this one that did much the same thing.

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14 hours ago, bleary said:

Michael tells Nick that Steven, Stan, John, and Axel are "all a bunch of assholes" and that he doesn't want to hunt with them.  Michael knows that Linda, John, Axel, and Stan are waiting up for his return from Vietnam and he just ditches them without even telling them that he's not coming.  Michael tries to leave Steven for dead in Vietnam and has to be talked out of it.  Michael jerks Linda around, selfishly disregarding her feelings.  And again, I might be harsher on Michael than others because I have zero time for uber-alpha dudes.  And comparing him to Mark Wahlberg and 80s actions heroes fits for me, because they're all uber-alpha dudes too, and I largely think that they're assholes.

So I guess the question is, does the movie want you to think he's the hero? To me it kind of seems like it does.

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