Apocalypse Now Redux

Director: Francis Coppola

1979/2001. Colour. Anamorphic. Dolby digital stereo. 203 mins.

Apocalypse Now is the testament film of the so-called ‘Movie Brat’ generation of the 1970s. It’s the film with which Francis Coppola, the generation’s guru, sought graduation from brat to mogul, demonstrating that he could become more Hollywood than Hollywood, while at the same time doing something equally radical, equally grandiose, on an artistic level. The film transposes Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness to Vietnam. Kurtz, the rogue white man who has established a satanic kingdom in the jungle, becomes a maverick Green Beret colonel (Marlon Brando) who is conducting a brilliant but brutal war from a fastness in Cambodia. Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent to find Kurtz and kill him. Mounting the film on a blockbuster scale, Coppola aimed to create ‘an experience that would give its audience a sense of the horror, the madness, the sensuousness, and the moral dilemma of the Vietnam war.’ Most of these ambitions are achieved in this extended ‘Redux’ version, which Coppola assembled in 2001.

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