That’s the length of Apocalypse Now Redux, apparently the extra scenes in this 2001 definitive version of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 movie put it over the top. But it’s not the length that’s the shocker, it’s my final analysis that my send you into a tailspin. Brace yourself.
If you have to decide between reading The Heart of Darkness and watching Apocalypse Now, pop in the DVD.
No joke. Recommending a movie over it’s written source of inspiration is new to me, but I have some rationale to calm your worried countenance.
- Conrad’s purpose in telling this story was to depict the darkness of human existence. He does, but Francis Ford Coppola does so even more.
- The colors, lights, shadows, and fog of the cinematography are far more striking than those in my mental images of Marlow’s journey. Had I ever done drugs I probably would have been better suited to picture these things on my own.
- The soundtrack is equally creepy and haunting in a very 1979 way.
- AN is no more confusing than HoD. I won’t say it’s less, but definitely not more.
- The movie is brutal. Bru. Tal. And I think that’s what Conrad was going for.
- You can knit while watching the movie. Oh wait! I can do that while reading the book, too!
- Ruth is absolutely right, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, and Marlon Brando are really great. If by great you mean superbly creepy, and I do.
- The heads aren’t shrunken, they are full-sized. Full-sized, yet still bodiless.
- Knowing and experiencing the origin of the phrase “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” will boost your chances of doing well on the obligate pop-culture category on Jeopardy.
- And because it deserves to be said one more time: the book was horrible, but the movie is worse. Even Joseph Conrad would have wanted you to watch it instead.
And last, but not least:
- Despite The Heart of Darkness’s small pagination it will probably still take you more than 202 minutes to read it, so instead grab the 153 minute original version of Apocalypse Now and exterminate the brute as quickly as possible. Oh, the horror.