McInerney writes about the genre of Vietnam War film and its commercial aspects as well as political ties and messages. He traces the differences between films like The Green Berets that came out during the war with The Boys of Company C, a post-war film – the changes in the Vietnam War film. He also discusses the difference between combat films such as Apocalypse Now and veteran’s stories such as Who’ll Stop the Rain. The article makes an analysis of these films and their different approaches and representations of Vietnam, the war and the veteran. It looks at their shared characteristics, which unite them as a genre, as well as the major differences in their approach of the subject. McInerney claims that a uniting theme in all the movies he studies is the notion that Vietnam was a terrible disaster for America and its people.
McInerney spends the last part of his article analyzing and comparing Deer Hunter and Apocalypse Now. He compares Apocalypse Now to its basis Deer Hunter and shows the similarities and differences between the two films. He looks at how Coppola puts himself into Apocalypse Now, saying the film fights the war, and McInerney makes the claim that Coppola is Willard and a Kurtz at the same time. He says that the war shows “what the dark heart of Vietnam was really like.”
The article’s analysis of Apocalypse Now gives both important insights into the film in relation to other Vietnam War films at the time as well as helps analyze and explain the films basis, purpose and function. The article also helps provide an understanding of the film climate and the other films of the same genre and era of Apocalypse Now, thus providing important historical contextualization.
Kinder continues to analyze the film, both scenes and characters, in terms of the message of the movie and Coppola himself. She states that some things, specifically Coppola’s identification with Kurtz, become too personal and thus weaken their effect. However, Kinder’s analysis of the opening scene and the way in which it completely blurs the lines between the internal and external illustrate Coppola’s ability to take something of his own and make it fit within the major goals and messages of his film. Coppola’s film takes the central meaning of Conrad’s book and holds true to it despite major changes in details and events.
Kinder also looks closely at Kurtz and the portrayal of his character within the film in relation to Coppola. She analyzes choices Coppola makes in terms of character development and the changes made to the character from Heart of Darkness. She also looks at Kurtz in terms of Vietnam itself, and calls him an unrealistic character in terms of the war.
Kinder concludes by saying that despite the flaws in the film, Coppola makes a masterful adaptation. He draws on many different resources and is able to recreate Conrad’s novella as his own without losing the central message of the book.
The article provides very interesting commentary on the making of Apocalypse Now and the choices that Coppola makes for his film. It provides insight into the workings of the director and a helpful analysis of the contribution of the original text and screenplay to the final version of the film. The close analysis of the opening scene and Kurtz provide more specific looks and critiques of Coppola’s work as well as explanations and reasoning for his choices. This is a great article for understanding how Apocalypse Now came to be.
Rollins first addresses the Vietnam War as it appears within literature. He opens by drawing attention to how hard it is to write about Vietnam because of the vast nature of the war as well as the short-lived experiences many soldiers had there. It is hard to draw real characters and plots from the war. The autobiographical novels about the war that Rollins writes about have a regular American thrown into an unconventional war who comes out both physically and psychologically harmed and changed. Still, Rollins claims that authors have yet to come up with an appropriate metaphor for the representation of Vietnam. Although the novels explore similar issues and themes, they all struggle with the war to an extent.
Next Rollins examines Vietnam within the medium of film. He says that like authors, the Hollywood representations of Vietnam fail to grasp the war completely and accurately. The directors also struggle with how to present the war and the issues that surround it. He looks at several Hollywood films beginning with John Wayne’s The Green Berets and including Apocalypse Now. Rollins also looks at documentaries and the issues surrounding capturing the full meaning of the Vietnam War through a camera.
Finally, Rollins looks at Vietnam as it appears on television. Vietnam was the first war to be really captured and aired on television as it was happening. With the advancements of technology in the 1950s and 1960s the news regularly broadcast images of the war, thus the public experienced its atrocities more than any other war. Rollins ends by providing resources for learning about and studying the war.
The article does not spend a lot of time focusing on Apocalypse Now, but it does help place the film within the context of other representations of Vietnam not only in film, but other media such as literature and television. This placement within a historical and cultural context helps bring a broader understanding to the film and the work it does.
After talking about Apocalypse Now, Murch answers questions about American Graffiti and The Conversation explaining more and more how he makes the choices and decisions he does when working on a film. Murch says the sound of the space of the character is just as important as the sound outside and attention should be paid to all aspects of the world of the film, not just where the character is. Murch says “emotion, story and rhythm” are the three things that one must pay attention to when editing sound. Murch gives examples of how he approaches these three elements, specifically citing his work on The Godfather.
The interview then turns more personal when Murch is asked about who he thinks the auteurs of film are and what kind of music he listens to and draws influence from. He then answers technical questions about his job and job title, the technology used and how some sounds are achieved. This portion provides a more technical look at Murch’s work.
This interview with Walter Murch helps to provide insight into the influence and practices of the sound designer for Apocalypse Now. He not only explains certain things about the sound in the movie and how he accomplished it, but the insight he gives on his approach to editing the sound on a film provides an understanding of how the sound in Apocalypse Now came to be.
The article continues with an analysis of the film Coming Home and a look at Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil.” The article continues to make the point that Rock and Roll adds a lot to the true representation of Vietnam within film and does what film alone cannot do because of its political nature and the associations in carries with it.
James article provides a post-modernist insight into the use and purpose of Rock and Roll within film. He calls attention to Apocalypse Now and subsequent Vietnam War films in order to show how Rock and Roll brings meaning and truth that the images on the film cannot bring on their own. Not only does the article help explain and present an understanding on why Rock and Roll was used in Vietnam War films, but it also explains its use specifically in Apocalypse Now.
Lapedis studies two films in her article, Forrest Gump and The Big Chill. In Forrest Gump the music highlights the tension between the politically charged era of the 1960s and 1970s against the innocence of Forrest. Lapedis compares the use of popular music in Forrest Gump to that of other Vietnam War films such as Apocalypse Now. She illustrates how popular music functions diegetically and non-diegetically as well as the impact and messages carried by the popular music in the film. Similarly, in her study of The Big Chill, Lapedis considers music and cinematography within the film. She illustrates how music is used to help the audience identify with the characters.
In conclusion, Lapedis illustrates how popular music and film are now inextricably linked; stating that rarely is there a big budget film that does not also market its soundtrack, which is full of popular songs. This shows the power of vertical integration and the conglomerates today. Popular music has come to change the structure of not only the industry and marketing techniques, but also the form and function of music and film.
This article is very insightful in terms of the use and function of popular music within film. Although the films studied are not totally relevant, Apocalypse Now is referenced in comparison to the use of popular music in Vietnam War films and scenes. The article provides knowledge of what popular music does in films thus helping to provide an understanding of the soundtrack of Apocalypse Now.
Norris studies how Coppola represents U.S. politics and Vietnam in relation to the major themes in Heart of Darkness. She addresses and analyzes key scenes, stylistic choices and themes in the film. Norris begins with Willard’s journey and the critique of colonialism in Heart of Darkness. She then looks at how Coppola critiques the U.S. mercenary mentality during the war as well as U.S. cultural imperialism. The article’s in depth analysis of Willard continues and constantly compares him and Coppola’s choices with the film to political messages and critiques.
Next, Norris examines Kurtz and the world he lives in. She claims that both Coppola and Conrad use the figure of Kurtz to attack U.S. colonialism and militarism. Although she does address differences between the Kurtz figure as used by Conrad and Coppola, her analysis shows the same basic function and the political nature of the character.
Norris ends by returning to the ideas of visibility and invisibility within the film claiming that Coppola brought into light Heart of Darkness and other literature of a political nature, such as The Waste Land.
This article, while extremely interesting, is confusing and hard to read. It provides a very detailed political analysis of the film and two main characters as well as the films ties to the novella it is based off of. It helps explain the political nature of the film and a lot of the choices Coppola made in making the film. However, the writing is abrupt and can be confusing if one is not familiar with concepts of modernism and major modernist narratives.
Hampton goes on to discuss the impact of reediting the film and Coppola’s feelings about Apocalypse Now from his speech at Cannes in 1979. Coppola claims that Apocalypse Now “is Vietnam” and is much more than just a film. He also talks about his intentions to have the film claim reality as its own and create a total experience. Hampton writes about how the reedited version helps flush out Coppola’s intention and the way in which Apocalypse Now constantly questions the line between the reality of Vietnam and the surreal experience of a soldier. Hampton makes the claim that the Redux version is more rooted in actual Vietnam in some parts of the film then than the original version. Hampton discusses how added elements of Kurtz add to the power and reality of the Vietnam War while the added medevac and French rubber plantation scenes add more to the internal and hallucinatory aspects of the film.
The article ultimately argues that more than anything, Apocalypse Now, Redux expands on the weirdness and abstract nature of the original. It continues to have the same issues and themes – the inability to provide a satisfactory ending and the constant tension between the external experience of the Vietnam War and the internal, psychedelic experience of the soldier in the war.
The article provides an interesting analysis of the reedit of Apocalypse Now and illustrates that the two films contain many of the same themes and issues. Hampton explains the effects of the changes and added scenes to the movie while focusing on the important motifs and ideas presented in both films. The article is insightful and helpful in understanding how the remake of Apocalypse Now functions as well as in understanding some of the major themes and issues in both the new and original versions.
There are also similarities between Hearts of Darkness and Apocalypse Now where the documentary reproduces a lot of themes and concepts that Coppola draws out of the novella Heart of Darkness. Hearts of Darkness is a liberal film and both films push a progressive agenda, displaying the war as catastrophe as well as a psychological nightmare for Americans. Worthy also analyzes the masculine and psychological narratives of Apocalypse Now, its roots in Conrad’s novella and its counter part in Hearts of Darkness. However, she continually returns to the central idea of the male-dominant narrative and approach to the war. She claims that both the film and the documentary are masculine in nature, thus favoring a patriarchal view of the war. She draws attention repeatedly to the male-female hierarchy as portrayed by Apocalypse Now and Hearts of Darkness, which originated with Conrad in Heart of Darkness. Worthy also looks closely at how Hearts of Darkness recreates the major ideas and themes of Apocalypse Now within the context of the documentary, and how the making of the film and the experiences of cast and crew relate to the war they were portraying.
The article provides an interesting look at some major themes in Apocalypse Now by highlighting them and their recreation within Hearts of Darkness. The style and making of the documentary shows the context of the film within its time and the struggles that accompanied its making. This provides insight into the goals and desires of Coppola in making the film and reinforces Coppola’s political stance and his views on Vietnam itself. It gives an understanding of how Coppola approached the film both in terms of the facts of the war itself and the ramifications of the war and Conrad’s novella, from which the movie is based.
The article is a discussion, between Murch and Ondaatje, which is an excerpt from Ondaatje’s book-in-progress about Walter Murch and editing. In the interview, Ondaatje discusses the changes in the new version of Apocalypse Now more in depth with Murch. They talk about the changes in Willard as well as the importance of the opening scene to the film as a whole. The opening scene was a rehearsal for Martin Sheen to help him access a darker side of his character. Shot documentary style, Coppola uses film to help evoke a strong performance and reaction from Sheen.
The article then turns more specifically to editing when Ondaatje questions the facility of editing Coppola’s techniques and styles of shooting a film. Murch talks about the difficulty of editing some scenes because there was no way to predict where a person would be from one frame to the next because of Coppola’s directions to the cameraman. He also calls attention to Coppola’s ability to have an actor looking straight into the camera without it being intrusive.
Finally, Ondaatje and Murch discuss the new scenes in the film. He discusses the medevac scene with the Playboy Bunnies and how they had to treat it in an elliptical nature because of a lack of a connecting scene between Martin Sheen and Gill Graham. Murch speaks about the technical issues in dealing with adding this scene. He then answers a question about Marlin Brando’s work and how the fact that Brando improvised a lot of his long monologues effected the editing.
While this article is brief and does not provide a whole lot of insight into the film itself, it is interesting to get into the mind of a man who had a hand in sound designing and editing both versions of Apocalypse Now. Murch provides explanations for aspects of the film and why certain choices were made in editing the film, which can help add to the understanding of the film as a whole.
Even though this article is partly a review of the new non-fiction film Jarhead, it is also an analysis of war films in general. Douthat begins his piece by mentioning that before going off to battle, Anthony Swoffard and the other protagonists of Jarhead relished in watching Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket. He uses this scene as a springboard to his main idea that there is no such thing as an anti-war film.
Douthat’s argument is certainly convincing. He claims that for all the anti-war messages woven into movies like Apocalypse Now, battles are still depicted as exhilarating and attractive. Even though Coppola’s film depicts the horrors of war with scenes of young Vietnamese dying, combat is still glorified in scenes such as the opening helicopter entrance. In Jarhead, the marines, singular in their vision, cheer and laugh as the choppers cut through the sky, raining fire on the wilderness below and strafing to avoid life-threatening attacks.
No matter how much critical rhetoric is added to a film, casual movie-goers and those unable or unwilling to consider the movie more deeply simply enjoy the unbridled excitement that carnage tends to generate.Jarhead, like many recent war films, fails to achieve the balance between political commentary and high-throttle action that Apocalypse Now did. Douthat equates Jarhead to pornography, a fun, cheap thrill without any real substance. While Apocalypse Now might not be a strident anti-war film, its depth is unquestionable. Coppola manages to portray war as “terrifyingly beautiful,” capturing both the appealing and the disgusting. Jarhead, on the other hand, takes the easy, unsatisfying route, relying on picturesque scenery rather than delving into the complexities of war.
In “Death of glory…,” Ian Garrick Mason discusses the epic film. He claims that the last great era of epic film was the period between the 50s and 60s which saw the release of Ben Hur, Cleopatra, and El Cid. According to Mason, public interest in grandiose movies with triumphant characters was rooted in America’s confidence during this time period. World War II was won and the impending conflict with the Soviet Union painted the United States as a lone defender of freedom against a clearly portrayed evil. Moreover, the introduction of Cinemascope in the early 1950s allowed these ostentatious tales to be appropriately depicted on the big screen.
Even though the genre persisted after reaching its pinnacle during the 50s and 60s, the character of epics shifted. Epics began to focus on the underground. They celebrated the nefarious over the great. Two examples of this phenomenon can be found in Coppola’s canon: The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. With high production values and an exotic locale, Apocalypse Now earns the title of epic. Rather than celebrate the life and triumphs of one man, the film focuses on the downfall of Kurtz and the destruction the American military brings. Even though it retains the spectacle of earlier epics, the underlying themes change dramatically.
Mason claims that films like Apocalypse Now changed the genre permanently. The film created a new type of epic that has been recreated up to the present in films like Goodfellas and Scarface. Meanwhile, traditional-style celebratory epics like Troy and Alexander have proved to be commercial and critical disasters. Coppola’s filmmaking changed epic filmmaking and the mindset of the film going public, making them more cynical and less receptive to laudatory, triumphant movies.
In “Coppola, ‘Apocalypse Now,’ and the Ambivalent 70s,” Sterritt begins by talking about the new scenes added to Apocalypse Now Redux. His argument is that even though the added footage is judged by most as being extraneous and superficial, it actually makes Coppola’s filmmaking style stand out more than in the original. Sterritt’s claim is that Apocalypse Now, made in 1979, treads the delicate line between being a pro-war reaction to the peace movement of the 60s and being a critique of the war like the more conservative movies of the 80s, and that the recently added scenes helps make this balance more clear.
Sterritt believes that Coppola’s ambivalence in this respect stemmed from the earlier success of The Godfather. While Coppola was certainly pleased with the commercial and critical success of that film, he saw the mass consumption of his movie as a missed opportunity to make a social impact. Therefore, in later works, such as The Conversation and Apocalypse Now, Coppola tried to include both overt and subtle cultural statements. At the same time he was attempting to make societal commentaries, Coppola was very much aware of the need to make a commercially successful film. His production company, American Zoetrope, was still far from stable and Coppola knew a movie too politically charged would not be well received by wide audiences.
Coppola was able to achieve this fragile equilibrium with Apocalypse Now. There are enough standard Hollywood conventions and high-excitement action scenes to keep viewers enthralled, but at the same time the film carries a strong sociopolitical message.
tagged apocalypse_now coppola heart_of_darkness by briansg ...on 28-NOV-05
Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, made in 1979, tells the tale of a rogue Green Beret during the Vietnam War and the measures Captain Willard (Sheen) takes to stop him. The film is heavily based on Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Matthew D’Ancona’s “Apocalypse Again” looks at Apocalypse Now not simply as a film about the Vietnam War, but a movie about war in general. He looks at the work in a post 9/11 context, considering especially the recent war in Afghanistan. Using Apocalypse Now as a starting point, the author mentions the distinction between justifying a war itself and validating the means used to win that war. D’Ancona disputes the claim that Apocalypse Now is a harsh critique of war. Instead, he references a comment made by Coppola in which the director declared that the movie “is not an anti-war film; it’s an anti-lies film.”
D’Ancona builds on this statement, pointing out several factors that support Coppola’s declaration. For one, he highlights the fact that John Milius, the screenwriter for the film, is an ardent conservative who has written scripts for a multitude of gung-ho action movies that seem to celebrate war. In D’Ancona’s eyes, Apocalypse Now is a traditional adversary movie: Willard traverses through the jungle in an attempt to subdue his nemesis Kurtz.
Again referring to Coppola’s comment, D’Ancona explains that the film is not against war itself, but rather condemns the misrepresentation of war by the government and media. He declares Kurtz’s madness is a response to the reality of war, a reaction to learning the horrific truth that had been hidden from him. Kurtz seeks out facts, urging Willard to think about the extent to which America would go to win the war. Therefore, the culprit is not war itself, but rather the uncertainty and lies that surrounds it.
In his article “Culture, US Imperialism, and Globalization,” John Carlos Rowe looks at the current trend of popular support for American aggression abroad and attempts to find its roots. According to Rowe, Americans initially supported Bush’s plans for war because of the media’s cultural conditioning.
Even though the media currently endorses “gunboat democracy,” Rowe argues that this policy was not always the standard. For example, Apocalypse Now was a harsh critique of the war, equating American intervention in Vietnam to the British colonization of Africa. While the film has action and suspense, the prevalent theme remains true to Conrad’s Heart of Darkness: the interference of westerners in a foreign land for their own gain is unjustified. Along with films like The Deer Hunter and Coming Home, the film industry was judgmental about the Vietnam War.
This tendency to criticize U.S. military actions, however, quickly ended. A new crop of films like Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo glorified the American soldier and made a clear division between the good Americans and the nefarious foreigners. Although Rowe argues that Rambo can also be interpreted as an anti-war movie, the fact remains that the film portrays the American soldier as a triumphant killing machine, single-handedly demolishing the Vietnamese and Russian armies.
In the late 1986, war glorification was at its peak with the release of Top Gun. The film launched a series of imitators all with the same underlying message that at least subconsciously encouraged viewers to support the Untied States military. This constant barrage of pro-war art changed the cultural identity of the nation, making Americans more willing to support the country’s war efforts.
In this article, Beck claims that during the 1970s, sound moved from a secondary aspect of filmmaking to a primary concern of directors. Coppola in particular is attributed with beginning the practice of paying particular attention to the film’s soundtrack. His 1974 work The Conversation not only heavily uses its soundtrack to advance the plot, but also features a sound-recording expert as the protagonist.
Although Beck focuses on the soundtrack of The Conversation, the soundtrack to Apocalypse Now is also quite impressive. One of the most memorable scenes in the film, the entrance of the helicopters, is inexorably tied to the operatic “Ride of the Valkyries.” Coppola manages to use sound to not only augment visual displays, but also create the atmosphere for a scene. Moreover, Coppola uses popular songs such as The Doors’ “The End” to convey the despair of the moment.
Beck also mentions Coppola’s use of “conceptual depth,” or the practice of using ambient sounds to make certain dialogue difficult for the audience to hear. Even though Beck only discusses this technique in the context of The Conversation, it is apparent in Apocalypse Now as well. For example, when the helicopters first arrive in Vietnam, the roar of the choppers keeps the men from hearing Lieutenant Kilgore’s orders. The viewer experiences the same confusion as the men must have felt, deaf and without direction. Moreover, the initial conversation between Kilgore and the California surfer is drowned out by the roar of enemy fire. Both men have to shout at each other to get their point across. Again, the chaos of war is emphasized, as is Kilgore’s lunacy while he tries to go surfing amid the din of heavy artillery.
Coppola’s innovations in film audio are clearly represented in Apocalypse Now.
Conrad’s Heart of Darkness serves as the basic story for Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The novel tells the story of a crazed British colonialist named Kurtz and the attempts of Marlow, a young sailor, to bring him back from the depths of Africa. While on the surface Heart of Darkness seems a simple story of a man corrupted by the wilderness and savagery that surrounds him, upon closer examination one finds it a treatise on colonization and human rights.
In the novel, just like in Apocalypse Now, the whites, through interfering with a foreign territory, corrupt the wilderness. For Conrad, the domineering power is the British colonists, while for Coppola that same force is the American army. In both cases, the aim of the whites is the same: to bring “civilization” to an untamed land and to exploit the wilderness for their own selfish purposes.
Both Europeans and Americans view the land not only as a commodity, but also as an enemy. Conrad depicts the scared colonialists shelling the river banks upon arrival in Africa, afraid of the jungle and what it may hold. Coppola adapts this idea in a variety of ways. He shows the enormous American helicopters cutting through the air over Vietnam accompanied by a loud orchestra, disturbing the serene scene below. Robert Duvall also makes the famous claim, “I love the smell of fresh napalm in the morning.” Conrad and Coppola similarly expose the destructive power of Westerners in their respective works.
In this article, John Lippman discusses the risk of making movie based on an ongoing war. He lists a variety of successful war movies such as Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan and implies that these films owe at least part of their commercial success to the fact that the public supported their respective core political messages.
In general, films about a war still being bought are enormous risks. For one, if the director’s view differs from that of the general public, people will not see the movie. Moreover, if public sentiment changes about the war in the near future, the all-important DVD sales could be jeopardized.
Although making a movie about a transpiring war is certainly a gamble, the payoff can be tremendous. Take for example Michael Moore’s politically charged Fahrenheit 9/11, which earned 119 million dollars in U.S. box office receipts alone. This exception, however, might be attributed to the fact that while the war is ongoing, a large portion of the population agrees that America should not have declared war on Iraq. Therefore, perhaps the risk is not in making a film about an ongoing war, but rather in making a movie about a conflict in which there are not polarized views. The flow of information abetted by television and the Internet constantly updates Americans on the Iraq war, making almost every citizen informed enough to take a stance.
Made six years after the Vietnam War had ended, Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, a critique of America’s involvement in the war, was clearly aligned with the feelings of the public. While expert filmmaking and powerful acting contributed to the movie’s commercial success, its box office receipts were undoubtedly bolstered by the fact that Americans supported the movie’s underlying political commentary.
tagged apocalypse_now political_film war_film by briansg ...on 27-NOV-05
Richard Slotkin’s “Unit Pride: Ethnic Platoons and the Myths of American Nationality” examines the typical ethnic makeup of military platoons in war movies and explains how this archetype has changed over time. Starting with Bataan (1943), most film platoons have been remarkably diverse, featuring members of every race fighting together as one to defeat America’s adversary. In a way, the platoon became a microcosm of America, a tiny melting pot in which racial and cultural divisions slipped away and all that was left was a group of men fighting together for their country.
Even though this convention has never stopped, it has evolved over time. For example, Kurtz in Apocalypse Now presents an alternative way to unite American soldiers through viewing the enemy as a single group of brutes. The madness of Kurtz and his desire to “exterminate the savages” is simply an extension of the traditional film paradigm. By distinguishing himself and the rest of his American soldiers from the Vietnamese, he creates a strong sense of national identity, albeit a warped one.
Apocalypse Now is also unique in that, while it celebrates the unity of the American people, it makes a clear division between those people and the government that they serve. The superior officers, closer to the inner workings of the government, are crazed. Kurtz has established a rogue military base in the jungle and Kilgore wants to go surfing amid artillery fire. The American government is criticized for sending men ill-equipped for the mental and physical challenges of war.
Although Apocalypse Now is critical of American involvement in Vietnam, it still represents a united platoon of soldiers fighting against powerful and evil antagonists; not only the Vietnamese but the American government as well.
In “What Can a Film Make of a Book?,” Donata Meneghelli examines the process of adapting literary works to film. Meneghelli first discusses the idea of fidelity, how true movies should be to the books on which they are based. According to Meneghelli, the notion that dramatically altering an existing story is wrong can probably be traced back to the early days of film in which movies were considered mass art and not worthy of representing the finest literary works. This philosophy, however, is outdated. Even though many movies are not entirely faithful to the novel that inspired them, this is inconsequential; it is the director’s creative liberty to change the story as he so desires.
Apocalypse Now is clearly based on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Although the connection between the two works is clear, Coppola’s film does not list Conrad or his book anywhere in the credits. Rather than being an overt act of conceptual plagiarism, Meneghelli believes that the lack of a reference to Conrad is the result of an argument between John Milius, the film’s screenwriter, and Coppola over whose idea it was to use the famous novel as the basis for the movie.
While no official citation exists, the basic concepts of Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness are identical; the two share the same structural framework. Even though the similarities between the works are clear, the two are also disparate in many senses, each clearly demarcated from the other. These differences include setting (Vietnam instead of the Congo) and the type of conflict (American war in place of European colonialism).
Considering these differences, Coppola’s masterpiece and Conrad’s novel are still strongly tied. Even though Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness have superficial differences, the underlying sociopolitical commentary and wartime critique remain the same. Both convey the message that imperialism is unjust and causes only tragedy and pain.
tagged apocalypse_now heart_of_darkness literary_adaptation by briansg ...on 27-NOV-05