Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

Back on cinema screens for a third time (last time was 2001 for the Redux version), Coppola’s epic meditation on Vietnam and the horror of war gets a digital makeover for this outing. Not only does it look beautifully crisp and clean, it also sounds amazing. What really grabbed me from the outset was the quality and clarity of the soundtrack, as the sound of rotor blades whir from side to side over The Doors’ The End, you could almost be in the jungle with Kurtz, Willard and Co.

Composed of a number of outstanding set-pieces, and featuring screen chewing performances from Robert Duval (“I love the smell of Napalm in the morning”), Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando, to mention but a few, this is one you really have to see on the big screen. Famous as much for the facts behind how it got made, as for the towering success it became, Apocalypse Now still stands up, not just as a film, but as a great film. It’s often accused of being indulgent, chaotic and sprawling (actually it’s not), but by god it’s an amazing couple of hours of pure cinematic pleasure.

 

Apocalypse Now is showing exclusively at The IFI until Thursday, June 2nd.

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