Friday, 24 July 2015


Oz magazine, March 1968 issue featuring Eddie Adams' famous photograph "General Nguyen Ngoc Loan Executing a Viet Cong Prisoner in Saigon"...

I came across this yesterday, found in a gallery of Oz magazine covers and the timing was fortuitous - just last w/end I watched Head, the Monkees film which features newsreel footage of the Saigon shooting. I've seen Head five or six times over the years and this moment in the film, folded into some live footage of the group performing Circle Sky, remains startling as ever. The edit is so tight the footage is almost subliminal but in that nanosecond before it reaches its shocking climax I experience what I call that Un Chien Andalou moment - I wonder will they or won't they dare show the eyeball being slit, or in the case of Head, the "head" shot. Watching the film again, the cut-ups of found footage and the channel-hopping reminded me of Natural Born Killers, and two interesting but superficial coincidences crop up here: Head was released in November 1968, the same month Oliver Stone was discharged from the US army, and secondly, in a scene cut from Natural Born Killers, Dennis Leary spouts one of his manic monologues and references a certain Monkee: "Knock, Knock! Who's there? Mickey. Mickey who? Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mantle, Mickey Rourke, Mickey Finn, Mickey Dolenz, Mickey Knox. Guilty? You bet your ass"

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