To pontificate in any detail on Apocalypse Now here would be something of a wasted statement. It is a film that many have seen, and many more have studied in depth. Even those whom have somehow let it pass by in the twenty-odd years since its release are aware of it in some form or another, most probably through its endless parading on screen and the page, where fawning journalists literally foam at the mouth projecting enthusiastic adjectives to describe its cinematic splendour.
Loosely based upon Joseph Conrad's classic novella Heart of Darkness, Coppola's dark journey into madness is a perfect example of cinema as an art form and represents one of the most genuine and pure examples of artistic aesthetic in popular film. It's a wonderful amalgamation of adrenaline charged war movie, enigmatic arthouse, and visual and metaphorical character study. It's a piece of work that is as much experienced as it is merely watched. What starts off as an engaging and linear storyline soon descends into a miasma of startling experience which becomes as much an exploratory journey into the unknown as it does a traditional storyline. Original and invigorating to this day, Apocalypse Now stands as one of the crowning achievements of postclassical cinema, and one of the last true examples of the power of the cinematic auteur on the top of his game. Obviously this trip into the madness of the unknown proved too much for the talented director, whom has failed to reproduce anything close to the quality of this in nearly three decades since.
This new DVD release offers both the original 1979 theatrical cut of the movie, alongside the recently released Redux cut, which adds 49 minutes to the films runtime. Although the original stands as the more successful cut, the Redux is a welcome addition for those familiar to the film already, fleshing out the storyline and character motivations.
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