“There were too many of us, we had access to too much equipment, too much money, and little by little we went insane” – Francis Ford Coppola, Cannes 1979
The opportunity to see Francis Ford Coppola’s newly remastered 1979 epic ‘Apocalypse Now’ on the big screen was one that could not be missed. The screening I saw at the BFI’s NFT1 featured crystal clear surround sound and a majestically large screen to witness the full-scale of this masterpiece. The film is presented exactly as it was shown in 1979 without any credits before or after, the lights simply go down as the sound of rota blades begin to swirl around your head and your journey into the “Heart of darkness” begins.
I must have watched my ‘Apocalypse Now’ DVD 30 times over the years, but now for the first time I saw it as it was meant to be seen, in the cinema. The final scene where Kurt’s army bow down to their new god had a dreadful power I’d never experienced before and seeing the film with an audience revealed how much dark humour there is. I was obviously excited to see the helicopter attack in all its Wagnerian glory and the deafening explosions and sweeping camera shotsdon’t disappoint. This scene highlights the profound conundrum Coppola placed at the film’s heart, that war is inhuman but it’s also thrilling on an primeval level.
Also, finally the super-deluxe Blu-Ray box set I’ve been drooling over from America is coming to Region 2 on the 13th of June. It features not only the original and extended cuts but also the award-winning ‘Hearts Of Darkness’ documentary and what looks like about 3 days of bonus materials chronicling the film’s arduous production.
Here’s a few of ‘Apocalypse Now’ related mp3s: