Thursday, July 19, 2007

Apocalypse Now (and forever)

Every so often I get the need to watch Apocalypse Now. hence sketching a Col Kurtz this evening.
One of the greatest films ever blah, blah. You know the drill. But theres is good reason for the accolades.
Hard to explain but its just something to marvel at on every viewing.
Its the one film, except maybe Blade Runner in which I will get hold of every version available.
The making of Hearts Of Darkness should really be rereleased, if not expanded on.
Francis Ford Coppolla's quote on the making of it "Little by little, we slowly went insane"
is an understatement. It sounds and looks like everyone involved went through their personal hell.
Martin Sheen had a breakdown and a heart attack at 36.
But if everything had gone right, it wouldnt have been anything special. The myths surrounding its making entice new viewers, but the film is a stunning creation. Every talks about the Valkyries attack, but its capturing the swirls of smoke in the copters airstream that causes some kind of hypnotism.
Robert Duvall's ability to ignore explosions is something to behold, but the film falls to one man.
Marlon Brando. A man of such ability, he saw the exaltaion of actors somewhat ridiculous and only occasionally chose to give great performances. I think he saw Hollywood as a joke had the ability to destroy a film by simply insisting on doing a bad accent (see Mutiny On The Bounty). He could hve destroyed Coppola's film too. Way over weight and with no knowledge of the base text or script and costing millions. Coupled with the fact that Dennis Hopper was on set, physically anyway.
Yet it came together. Brando's words have been frequently quoted and referenced throughout the years.
Its an inspired performance if roughly salvaged from disaster.
For me there can't be enough extra footage and extended version of Apocalypse Now. Hopefully we will get the 6hr cut come the 30th anniversary.
For such a long ramble I should have put up a better picture

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