Presentation on theme: "Apocalypse Now (1979) is producer/director Francis Ford Coppola's visually beautiful, ground-breaking masterpiece with surrealistic and symbolic sequences."— Presentation transcript:
Apocalypse Now (1979) is producer/director Francis Ford Coppola's visually beautiful, ground-breaking masterpiece with surrealistic and symbolic sequences detailing the confusion, violence, fear, and nightmarish madness of the Vietnam War. Coppola had already become a noted producer/director, following his two profitable and critically-acclaimed Godfather films- the epic saga of a Mafia-style patriarch and his successor.
The film's story, a type of Odyssey story, was indirectly inspired by Joseph Conrad's 1902 novella Heart of Darkness (about a steamer journey up a river into the Congo and African jungle - and into the darkest reaches of the human psyche).
The film tells about US Army assassin Willard's (Charlie Sheen) mission, both a mental and physical journey, to 'terminate' dangerously-lawless warlord and former Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has gone AWOL, become a self-appointed god, and rules a band of native warriors in the jungle.
Captain Willard Col. Kurtz Lt. Kilgore dutifully 'willed' to carry out his assassination mission “with extreme prejudice” godlike cult-leader, a perfect soldier but 'cursed' by his dark actions Hawkish leader; relishes thrill of war, fighting
In Peter Cowie’s The Apocalypse Now Book, Coppola writes a brief synopsis of his film:...The story is metaphorical: Willard’s journey up the river is also a journey into himself, and the strange and savage man he finds at the end is also an aspect of himself. Clearly, although the film is certainly ‘anti-war’, its focus is not on recent politics. The intention is to make a film that is of a much broader scope and provide the audience with an exhilarated journey into the nature of man and his relationship to the Creation. It is the hope of the film-makers to tell this story using the unique imagery of the recent Vietnamese War--its helicopters, disposable weaponry--as well as the rock music, the drugs and psychedelic sensibilities.
Coppola explains that the film is not a representation of the historical context of the Vietnam War, but rather, a man’s struggle between good and evil. “The most important thing I wanted to do in the making of Apocalypse Now was to create a film experience that would give its audience a sense of the horror, the madness, the sensuousness and the moral dilemma of the Vietnam war..." American cinema has encountered several anti-war films over its long history, but Coppola’s reveals this "madness" and "horror" to represent the surreal metaphor of the war rather than the purely realistic and graphic views of other American war films.
Ideas of alienation (from self and others) Turning “upside down” what is expected…think of the novel how O’Brien plays with morality, truth Violence Nature of conflict between the destroyer and the destroyed
Images used to convey themes Sounds used (diagetic and non diagetic) Use of camera movements, transitions and shot types that contribute to audience’s understanding of themes