The One Where I
Think I Heart Apocalypse Now: Redux’d
Even kids, AT here. Going back to Apocalypse Now, one week on.
OK, you need some context.
I got Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure on Bluey for Xmas.
I watched the Redux (40 mins longer than the Original cut), in bed, a lil worse for ware.
What I wrote went up on GCs Blog last week.
Didn’t read it? I forgive you. But go now. Here’s another link.
I stand by everything I said. It is pondering. It does meander. It takes an age to get where it’s going.
But I forgot one thing.
The history. The history of making it. And Hearts Of Darkness (included in the set) put me straight about that.
All the bits that made me a bit un easy, that doubted its cult status as one of the greatest films ever… all explained away.
So I stand by my earlier views, that I can’t really explain why I love it so much… but when you see how they accomplished it… what they were up against… well, it’s impossible not to forgive it some of its short comings.
Of course the flip side is that its bloatedness, it’s chaotic nature, are all unforgivable traits, which ruin an otherwise stunning movie.
Take the Redux for example, it’s a great example of a Director going back, and tinkering.
I love that, as I’ve said HERE, but is there a better example of making a mess an even bigger mess? (Maybe Brazil?)
Watching the crew celebrate 100 days of filming is hilarious, really.
A giant cake, of a jungle. Shared out between tons of extras. Mental.
Then you see them film the Tiger scene. Where one attacks them. And you just think… this whole film is mental.
Now, they arte quite honest about the drugs, and how they were all going a bit… mental… but it becomes such a trippy film… you can scarcely believe they threw millions of dollars at it.
Including one million up front for Brando. Who at one point, doesn’t want to come to the set, and wants to keep the money. That phone call is the stuff of Hollywood legend, and I’m thrilled to have finally seen it.
When Martin Sheen looks into the mirror, doing kung fu (karate), it becomes clear he’s doing it for real. He actually cuts his hand smashing the mirror.
Sheens breakdown in that scene is heartbreaking. Demanding Coppola carries on filming, he has a mental breakdown. Right there. On film.
It’s shocking to watch.
Everyone in the room was scared he was going to lunge at the camera, apparently. Maybe even at Coppola.
Then he has his heart attack – and the priest reads him his last rites.
And Coppola is recorded saying that if he dies, he dies. But that no one can tell the press.
I think at that point I realized what it was I find in Apocalypse Now. And I’m glad I found it.