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APOCALYPSE NOW

Director: FRANCIS COPPOLA

153 minutes| U.S.A.| 1979| Colour| D-Cinema


It isn’t about Vietnam, it is Vietnam,’ Francis Coppola famously said of this hallucinatory fresco on the madness of war. Having battled through typhoon weather, Martin Sheen’s heart attack, Marlon Brando’s ballooning waistline and a two-year edit, one can understand his sentiments, but the result certainly delivers a payload of legendary moments as Sheen’s military assassin heads downriver to terminate Brando’s errant Colonel Kurtz ‘with extreme prejudice.’ There’s Robert Duvall’s Napalm-high, surf-crazed Kilgore and his Wagnerian helicopter attack, the jungle exploding to the strains of The Doors, freaky-deaky photographer Dennis Hopper and, of course, Brando’s Conradian exit-line . . . ‘the horror’ indeed. A psychic journey to the very heart of darkness, it’s truly a film like no other. This new, Coppola-approved digital restoration of the original 1979 release version – rather than the extended Redux version of 2001 – reproduces the expressive contrast of the original Technicolor dye-transfer print. Apocalypse Now has never looked better. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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