War on the Human Spirit in Francis Ford Coppola’s Movie, Apocalypse Now

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War on the Human Spirit in Apocalypse Now Although Apocalypse Now is an extremely formalistic film from Francis Ford Coppola, he was quoted saying, "It's not about Vietnam, it was Vietnam!" He took quite a bit of time researching the war finding out what life was like for one taking part in the war. It is possible that any man, American or Vietnamese, may have been placed under the extreme psychological conditions of Captain Willard. In fact, in the opening scene, Martin Sheen was genuinely intoxicated and while on a rampage, Coppola video taped his madness and placed it in the script. When Sheen collides with a mirror in the opening scene, it is his real blood that is seen running free on his hands. Coppola successfully created a confined reality and in doing so he has lead the viewer to believe that every man in the military is forced to undergo the emotional troubles of Willard, and thus, he presents an extreme anti-war ideology. Throughout the film, the viewer constantly identifies with Willard and his emotional struggles, and as a result, Coppola places the viewers in the script. Through this identification, Coppola influences his viewers to oppose the military's' techniques and procedures involving those who take part in it. Apocalypse Now suggests that extreme circumstances of war calling for austere actions should never be placed upon any man; these conditions transform a man filled with valor into a man filled with paranoia. The movie begins with a famous anthem from that era, "The End," by The Doors. It is quite ironic that the movie actually starts with this song. Our first look at Captain Willard is one of him lying on his bed. Coppola specifically provides the viewer with an... ... middle of paper ... ...A Filmmaker's Apocalypse [Film]. Showtime/ Paramount. Chatman, Seymour. "Two and a Half Versions of Heart of Darkness." Conrad on Film. Ed. Gene M. Moore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997. Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. Editor Robert Kimbrough. New York: Norton, 1988. Coppola, Francis Ford (Director, Co-author). 1979. Apocalypse Now [Film]. American Zoetrope/ United Artists. Ruthven, K. K. 'Elements of Darkness: Conrad and Lawrence,' Critical Quarterly, x, nos 1& 2 (Spring and Summer 1968), pp. 41-6. Ed. C. B. Cox. Virtanen, Panu S. (1997). Apocalypse Now Tribute Page. Retrieved July 2nd, 1997 from the World Wide Web: http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/9067/apocal.html. Wilmington, Mike. "Worth the Wait: Apocalypse Now." Heart of Darkness, Norton Critical Edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1988.

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