Saturday, June 4, 2016

Moscow-based movie critic/culture commentator Mark Teeter about "Apocalypse Now" and its "American" elements

Mark H. Teeter [on facebook] shared Moscow TV Tonite's post.

MOSCOW TV TONITE: The (Anti-)War Film That Keeps On Giving
Apocalypse Now/Апокалипсис сегодня (USA, 1979/2001)(Kultura, 22:10)
--;Debates over Francis Ford Coppola’s great, sprawling “Apocalypse” began well before the film’s (much delayed) release and will surely continue for as long as people discuss movies in print and in bars. For the potentially uninitiated Moscow viewer let's simply say that this is an epic adventure film set during the Vietnam War that is essentially an Americanized update of the classic Joseph Conrad novella “Heart of Darkness” (Сердце тьмы,1902). How Americanized? Jim Morrison/The Doors, California surfing and Playboy bunnies – that’s how Americanized.
These pop-cultural hallmarks are not used flippantly or ironically by Coppola; they are representative of the material culture and mentality brought by young Americans to a war on the other side of the world that is at once disorienting, ridiculous and deadly serious – and has spawned one Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a renegade/madman who has created a kingdom for himself “somewhere upriver in Cambodia” and must be “terminated with prejudice,” his former army superiors have decided, via a special mission assigned to one Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen).
"Apocalypse" appears on many all-time-greatest lists and exists in three versions – the original theatrical release (153 min.), Coppola’s 2001 recut/augmented “Apocalypse Now Redux”/”Апокалипсис сегодня возвращается”(203 min.; the version Kultura is airing tonite) and a bootleg-circulated 289-min. workprint variant that contains material not used in either of the first two. Tune in tonite for a classic long-strange trip, bearing in mind what the late Roger Ebert, perhaps America’s most representative everyman-critic, said of the film: “It is not about war so much as about how war reveals truths we would be happy never to discover." Amen to that.…/%D0%90%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BA%D0%B0%D…

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