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Author Topic: Apocalypse Now (1979)  (Read 17526 times)
Groggy
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« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2007, 05:30:54 PM »

That's cool, Dave. Afro I don't deny that there were atrocities committed in 'Nam, but if you were to believe Hollywood, every platoon/company involved in the country killed a village of innocent people every other day. My dad came into contact with Vietnamese quite often (he was a field intelligence officer, so he did see combat from time to time even if he wasn't a "grunt") and never even got into a major argument with them, except the NVA/VC of course. Wink

My dad hates most Vietnam movies, and after seeing this one I can understand why. (He also thinks "The Deer Hunter" is one of the worst films ever made.) All of the characters except Albert Hall were drug-addicts or borderline lunatics, and while that may have been accurate of a lot of vets - I mean, many people had extreme psychological reactions to the war, there's no way to deny that - it's hard to believe that everyone was like that. Sorry for the rant, but it is something I feel strongly about.

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« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2007, 06:24:19 PM »

It's a real shame that for many young people, their first contact with this film from now and possibly for ever more will be the REDUX version.

There was a reason Coppola dropped all of the "restored" footage now cobbled onto the film. He just didn't like it in the first place. In HEARTS OF DARKNESS we even see a small clip of what was obviously an extened on set rant about how awful he though the French plantation sequence was going, straight to the nervous performers involved. However, we are now supposed to forget this and accept this dreary and redundent scene as now somehow as vital as all the new effects and big explosions Franny's chum George Lucas has added to his first three STAR WARS films because, you know, that's how they really meant the films to be seen all along.

Rubbish. Everybody knows that Coppola's main business these days is in the wine and hotel market. I suspect the whole REDUX thing was merely an exploitation of the old family jewels to fund some new, non-movie enterprise.

I saw APOCALYPSE NOW some 16 or 17 times on it's first release at the cinema in my mid teens. As you can tell from that I was kind of obsessed by the thing. As has been pointed out, it uses the Vietnam War as a setting for a rather "bigger" plot, but at the same time has a narration written by Michael Herr, with uncredited quotes from photographer Phillip Jones Griffith's classic book VIETNAM INC. (as well as some of his pictures), two men who's work came to define the war, just as much as the war defined them. The film isn't so much about a specific war though, but all wars. It's just a shame APOCALYPSE NOW has joined the list of films partly ruined by creators who have run out of ideas and have to raise cash by messing around with their old movies. In this case, a masterpiece as far as I was concerned. Whole chunks of it are just... perfect.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 06:30:33 PM by Juan Miranda » Logged

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« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2007, 06:28:27 PM »

It's a real shame that for many young people, their first contact with this film from now and possibly for ever more will be the REDUX version.

There was a reason Coppola dropped all of the "restored" footage now cobbled onto the film. He just didn't like it in the first place. In HEARTS OF DARKNESS we even see a small clip of what was obviously an extened on set rant about how awful he though the French plantation sequence was going, straight to the nervous performers involved. However, we are now supposed to forget this and accept this dreary and redundent scene as now somehow as vital as all the new effects and big explosions Franny's chum George Lucas has added to his first three STAR WARS films because, you know, that's how they really meant the films to be seem all along.

Rubbish. Everybody knows that Coppola's main business these days is in the wine and hotel market. I suspect the whole REDUX thing was merely an exploitation of the old family jewels to fund some new, non-movie enterprise.

I saw APOCALYPSE NOW some 16 or 17 times on it's first release at the cinema in my mid teens. As you can tell from that I was kind of obsessed by the thing. As has been pointed out, it uses the Vietnam War as a setting for a rather "bigger" plot, but at the same time has a narration written by Michael Herr, with uncredited quotes from photographer Phillip Jones Griffith's classic book VIETNAM INC. (as well as some of his pictures), two men who's work came to define the war, just as much as the war defined them. The film isn't so much about a specific war though, but all wars. It's just a shame APOCALYPSE NOW has joined the list of films partly ruined by creators who have run out of ideas and have to raise cash by messing around with their old movies. In this case, a masterpiece as far as I was concerned. Whole chunks of it are just... perfect.



Agreed.
I would never take a look at the REDUX version.

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« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2007, 08:39:45 PM »

I'm guessing the main problem of this movie is that Coppola wanted to actually tell the whole story about Vietnam,to give to the viewers of the movie everything he thought they need to know about that war and of course he got lost...
The position of the French,the whole absurd of that war,the carelessness of the American commanding staff,natives,kids in the war,and so on..There were so many important things to mention and incorporate in the movie,but it wasn't easy.


Rather than trying to make his movie a historical documentary about the Vietnam War, I think Coppola's intentions, based on the content of the film, were to make the Vietnam situation the background for what he really meant to represent, which was the insanity that the Vietnam soilders were eventually faced with. 

(SPOILER follows)
For example, the flashback scene where Kurtz is an active seargent, as bombs and gunfire are aimed in his troop's direction, he asks the troops to go surfing.  You can tell by the way he reacts to the loud artillery around them that there was a big difference between Kurtz's reaction and the reaction of his troops to what surrounded them. Kurtz was clearly mentally affected by the war even back then.  He had no reasonable reaction to the attacking enemy, he just acted as though nothing was going on, while influencng his troops to act in the same manner.

The movie's main theme was not the Vietnam War, but the insanity of war itself is well represented; how it can drive a person to madness, as represented by Kurtz's character.

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« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2007, 08:46:05 PM »



Agreed.
I would never take a look at the REDUX version.

Never say never.... Wink

Well, I don't know if this has been mentioned before (i'm sure it has) but i just wanna express how incredibly stupid the people who made the newest Apocalypse Now release are.  The boxset has two discs, but instead of making one the redux version and the other the original, the dumbasses made both versions in both discs, cutting both versions half way in order to switch to disc 2.  Nuts, isn't it?  Does anyone know why they did it that way? cos i frankly don't understand

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« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2007, 05:33:53 AM »

Rather than trying to make his movie a historical documentary about the Vietnam War, I think Coppola's intentions, based on the content of the film, were to make the Vietnam situation the background for what he really meant to represent, which was the insanity that the Vietnam solders were eventually faced with. 

The movie's main theme was not the Vietnam War, but the insanity of war itself is well represented; how it can drive a person to madness, as represented by Kurtz's character.

I agree,I was talking about that myself.
Showing the insanity of war itself on the example of Vietnam.
But I'm afraid my bad English ruins the thought sometimes...

« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 05:34:57 AM by Tuco the ugly deer hunter » Logged
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« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2007, 05:42:38 AM »

NEW DVD-RELEASE:  You serious?
And I just wanted to purchase that thing... Thanks!

Interesting how serious some of you take historical accuracy (right word?) when it comes to NAM.
Every movie is a fiction, except documentaries (minus M.Moore maybe:)). Anti-war films really can't exist some say, and they're not that wrong. Whenever there's gunplay and male bonding and adventure of any sort involved, it feeds certain fantasies... The film makers point of most of 'these' films, like CATCH 22, M*A*S*H etc. is to sneak in heavy anti-war messages, but not to re-create an enviorenment, as intelligent artists do know the the horror of violence, war & death can't be re-created. For that matter I would suggest COMING HOME. Not one gunshot in the film. Helped my decision not to go to the army anyway.

I understand the difficulties of seeing fiction that deals with 'personal' experiences very well. And my uncle is a surgeon, boy did he had fun watching some of that 'accurate' movie/TV-stuff (so well researched Smiley). And being German I could mention 90% of war-movies relating to WWII. I mean the universal German soldier in those was so mean, I always cheered for Flynn & Wayne. Kill the bloody krauts!! That's entertainment.




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« Reply #37 on: June 22, 2007, 06:00:27 AM »

Juan, you absolutely nailed it. The French plantation scene would have worked as an extra deleted scene, but I think there's a pretty good reason it was cut in the first place. A semi-rational discussion about the Vietnam War just doesn't fit in with the overall tone of the film. The "new" Playboy Bunnies scene was titillating, to be sure, but too long and absolutely pointless. Afro

To be fair, though, I've never seen the "theatrical cuts" of OUATITW, OUATIA, "The Last Emperor", "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Wild Bunch". . . and I think the "extended versions" are all excellent. Cheesy

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dave jenkins
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« Reply #38 on: June 22, 2007, 03:37:48 PM »

To be fair, though, I've never seen the "theatrical cuts" of OUATITW, OUATIA, "The Last Emperor", "Lawrence of Arabia", "The Wild Bunch". . . and I think the "extended versions" are all excellent. Cheesy
Well, in the case of Lawrence, the "extended" version is pretty much a restoration of what was originally released theatrically, as this passage from the Wikipedia entry makes clear:

Quote
The film premiered in London on December 10, 1962, and was released in the USA on December 16, 1962.

The original release ran for 222 minutes (plus overture, intermission, and exit music). A later theatrical re-release ran for 202 minutes; an even shorter cut of 187 minutes briefly surfaced in the 1970s. The current "restored version", undertaken by Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz (under the supervision of director David Lean), was released in 1989 with a 216 minute length (plus overture, intermission, and exit music).

Most of the cut scenes were dialogue sequences, particularly those involving General Allenby and his staff. Two whole scenes - Brighton's briefing of Allenby in Jerusalem prior to the Deraa scene and the British staff meeting in the field tent - were completely excised, and the former has still not been entirely restored. Much of the missing dialogue involves Lawrence's writing of poetry and verse, alluded to by Allenby in particular, saying "the last poetry general we had was Wellington." Lawrence's first meeting with Allenby in Cairo was significantly shorter, and the scene in Jerusalem where Allenby convinces Lawrence not to resign existed in only fragmented form. These scenes have been restored to the current edition; most of the still-missing footage is of minimal import. The actors still living at the time of the re-release dubbed their own dialogue, though Jack Hawkins's dialogue had to be dubbed by Charles Gray (who had already done Hawkins' voice for several films after the latter developed throat cancer in the late 1960s).

A full list of cuts can be found at the Internet Movie Database. Reasons for the cuts of various scenes can be found in Lean's notes to Sam Spiegel, Robert Bolt, and Anne V. Coates.

The film runs 216 minutes in the most recent Director's Cut available on DVD.

The point is, the longer cut of Lawrence is more or less what Lean intended at the time of its original release. This is not the case with Apocalypse Now. The re-introduction of the French Plantation sequence seriously deforms Coppola's artistic intentions circa 1979. Juan Miranda made this abundantly clear above, but if there are still any who doubt this all they need do is study the sequence again. Note that Willard's voice-over is entirely absent from that part of the movie. Obviously, this material was already cut prior to Sheen going in, during post production, to do his dubbing for the film. It was therefore no longer part of the movie, and should not have been restored, except for its curiosity value. It does not represent the director's vision (I mean the director who made the film, not the guy who inhabits his body 20-some years later).

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« Reply #39 on: June 22, 2007, 05:00:26 PM »

Would it surprise you to learn that 80% of that passage was written by moi?  Wink

I do see your point however. I will say though, that the original cut version of "Lawrence" - the 200 minute one - was authorized by Lean because he felt it was too long for a commercial film. As his director's notes show, he wasn't unsatisfied with what he cut out, but he recognized that the film would probably have more of an appeal to the public at large.


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« Reply #40 on: June 22, 2007, 05:02:36 PM »

the orignal cut of Apocalypse always win out against the ever so boring REDUX

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« Reply #41 on: June 22, 2007, 05:34:07 PM »

the orignal cut of Apocalypse always win out against the ever so boring REDUX

I disagree. The REDUX is in no way boring to me.

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« Reply #42 on: June 22, 2007, 05:35:28 PM »

Quote
Would it surprise you to learn that 80% of that passage was written by moi?  Wink
Nope. You seem to have done a good job, though. Afro

Quote
I do see your point however. I will say though, that the original cut version of "Lawrence" - the 200 minute one - was authorized by Lean because he felt it was too long for a commercial film. As his director's notes show, he wasn't unsatisfied with what he cut out, but he recognized that the film would probably have more of an appeal to the public at large.
Can we agree, then, that Lean authorized at least two different cuts of his film for its maiden run, each equally valid? If so, this does not parallel the release history of Apocalypse Now/Redux.

Now, onto OUATIA. There were two theatrical releases of the film in America, what we can call the illegitimate, first one (shortened and re-chronologicized), and the legitimate one that played in its correct form. I saw the film the second way in 1985, at the Biograph in Chicago. The current DVD properly reflects that theatrical release.

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« Reply #43 on: June 22, 2007, 10:46:40 PM »

I disagree. The REDUX is in no way boring to me.

we always seem to disagree eh,Tucumcari Grin

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« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2007, 04:44:54 PM »

we always seem to disagree eh,Tucumcari Grin

It's ok, it's all in good fun kurug3n! If this was IMDB, you'd probably call me stupid. hahaha.

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