Saturday, June 9, 2007

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Starring Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, and Marlon Brando.

Coppola's Vietnam-era update of Conrad's HEART OF DARKNESS took four years of his life to complete, and the result was a mad but often glorious meditation on the insanity of war. Sheen plays a marine assigned to find and kill Brando's Kurtz, and as he journeys upriver to find him he also finds himself agreeing and empathizing with Kurtz's highly unconventional ideas. When he meets Kurtz, however, he discovers that he is insane and dangerous and must come to grips with his own conflicting feelings, his own heart of darkness. Coppola went through hell to make the film, but the finished product is full of indelible images and goosebump-inducing soundscapes (see it on a big screen, if possible), and the finished product is haunting. Seek out the original version of the film, as the REDUX version is not an improvement.

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