It's been a long time since i last saw this BBC2 programme on Tim Page. I'd be around 13 year of age, off school ill with some bug or another, and that summer i'd just got my first camera - a 126 Hamimex 88x - from a Chemist Shop on the high street in Conwy, North Wales. The journey had begun. The shop is still there. I still have my first camera too.
Certain scenes from Mentioned in Dispatches were burned into my head. Page going through his slides and explaining the story behind them is one scene that made me realise that photography was not just about landscapes and holidays, it could inform and educate and i loved the power the images had. The fact that Page was still visibly affected by his head injuries received in 1969 was also something i remembered vividly. There was a cost to taking the images.
The photography of the Vietnam War still fascinates me now. Tim's star has waned over the years as he dropped down my table of favourite photographers. He was good... others were better. I've come to prefer the work of other photographers who captured the war without the rock n' roll attitude of Page. The photojournalist, played by Dennis Hopper, in Apocalypse Now was alleged to have been based on Tim Page. I much prefer the quiet professional attitude of Larry Burrows.
It is good to see this film again though. Amazing what the mix of a Vietnam war photographer documentary and a chemist shop in North Wales can do.