apocalypse now

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The concept of pastiche has encountered much attention from the exponents of post modernism. As the concern with reproduction of earlier texts is central to adaptation, it is appropriate to consider adapted films as pastiche where diverse texts merge together. Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now can be considered as pastiche because of its intertextual meanings which are mostly drawn from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
In this essay I will discuss the statement “What a film takes from a book matters; but so does what it brings to a book.” by analysing Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad in relation to Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.
The film has its debut with Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), which in the beginning of the film is presented as relaxing in his hotel room in Saigon. But the first images which are presented describe the waking nightmares of the captain followed by a panoramic shot of the jungle which is crossed again and again by helicopters which are shown in extreme closeup. The hallucinatory nature of the images shown in the beginning attempt to make a short but comprehensive description of the war in Vietnam. It is not clear if the perspective comes from inside his head or from inside his room looking into his head. To the amazement of the viewer, the voice from Willard's mind seems to be numbed and skeptical similar to that of a detective. The narrator from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness was named Harlow but Francis Ford Coppola changed the name of his narrator to Philip Marlowe, which is private detective.
In the film and the novel, the point of view of the narrator is very important to the reader's respectively to the viewer's perception of him. Joseph Conrad builds his novel as a story which is t...

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...litary task which implies terminating Kurtz. Looking into the personal record of Kurtz, he attempts to find more details about his next victim. From Conrad’s point of view, he believes that the truth behind the heart of darkness can never be found, giving Kurtz as an example.But Francis Ford Coppola takes a different approach and describes Willard as a man which became obsessed with knowing the truth about his victim. He believes that in order to kill Kurtz he must first understand the type of man he was, but as soon as he uncovers the mystery behind the heart of darkness, he finds himself unable to resist its power. Willard begins to sense the connection to the wilderness of the jungle and its inhabitants, the way Marlow did. A military assassin uses a reasonable and civilised form of killing, but as he went further into the jungle those boundaries started to fade.
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