This film brought the first and second (for Best Sound Mixing and Best Cinematography) of the three Oscars won by Vittorio Storaro to date. Even though it garnered a total of eight nominations, Apocalypse Now has outgrown its initial success. While the starting point for director Francis Ford Coppola was an 1899 Joseph Conrad novel - The Heart of Darkness - Apocalypse Now is a shocking reflection on life and death in the 20th century - wrapped up with the American war in Vietnam. Yet this is not a true war film. (Like The Deer Hunter, which was... released not long before, it didn't really fit into the war film category.) A lot of critics see it as a kind of road movie. There's some truth in that - films about journeys don't necessarily have to feature an endless road stretching away into the distance. A river can have just the same effect, while the path taken is still the essence of the story. Captain Willard's mission states that he must follow his road to the very end in order to deal with the renegade Colonel Kurtz. The journey, however, is in many ways more important than the final objective: the experience of war, slaughter and horror. A chance to see the world in a different light.
For us, for the viewers, the images themselves give us a different perspective. And this is where Vittorio Storaro comes in. For this film, Storaro was forced to create a unique language of cinematography. He succeeded. Apocalypse Now is simultaneously the world of force, aggression and fear, and the shaky coexistence of fire and water. Picturesque and brutal. Storaro's images sear into us.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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