Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Apocalypse Now

A quick note on the redux. The redux is a poorer cut of the film. It botches the pacing severely through mostly useless scenes, that don't quite work, or in the case of the ghostly French plantation seems the realization of how the original film could have gone wrong. As that sequence gets lost in symbolism and loses too much of a grasp on reality. The only scene that works really is an additional moment with Brando's Colonel Kurtz, but it is still hardly a major loss. They work as interesting deleted scenes but do not belong in the film. The original cut of the film however is one of the greatest films of all time. The production itself was madness and someone that managed to capture the madness of war. The film though is effectively apolitical, it's so much about the Vietnam war as it is the condition of being in such war and such a place. This approach leads to a one of kind film experience that is about falling into that insanity created in both men and nature itself. The film, again the original cut, never gets lost in the ideas. It is very much about the men and the way they are or become in such circumstances, though not quite a simply as they become savages. It is instead so much more in its examination of the clash of personality and the element such as the false god Kurtz becoming lost in his own delusions of grandeur, or the warrior of old in Robert Duvall's Killgore thriving in an environment which allows him to play at war like a game. The themes, and story are grandiose and Francis Ford Coppola matches that with his own vision. The sequences of the film have become iconic to cinema for a reason, as the imagery here is unlike anything you'll ever see even with its influence on so many films that came later. It is a masterful work of art as the scale never overwhelms itself creating such fascinating examination of the human condition in war while  What Coppola captures likely could have only been found in that single moment of insanity in time.

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