Re: RARA-AVIS: apocalypse now

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 29 Apr 2002

Miker wrote:
> just watched "apocalypse now" again, after not seeing it for years.
> that is a spectacular movie! its one of the very few movie
> which is better than the book.

Despite it's massive flaws, I like APOCALYPSE NOW a lot - but better than HEART OF DARKNESS? Gimme a break. I don't trust myself to even take that one up, I'd become too emotional. I'll let someone else take up the cudgel in Conrad's defence - I'm sure there'll be some takers.

> 1. what is the wagner tune that kilgore (robert duvall)is playing
when they
> take charlie point?

Opera ain't my strong suit but I think it's known as "The Ride of the Valkyries" but I don't know if that's it's formal title or just how it's generally referred to.

> 2. what is the "hollow man" poetry that kurtz is reading near the

T.S. Eliot, which very much ties in with Conrad, RITUALS OF ROMANCE (I think) & THE GOLDEN BOUGH. When I saw THE GOLDEN BOUGH on Kurtz's reading table I knew exactly how the climax would play itself out - THE GOLDEN BOUGH being all about replacing the old king/chief/priest with someone younger and more virile to ensure rain, better crops, etc (you recall the assasination is followed by a torrential downpour). According to Frazer, this was often effected by the replacement killing the incumbent - so the story is that the villagers are expecting Kurtz to be killed (hence the celebrations) & why they are all waiting deferentially for his assasin afterwards instead of the retribution the Sheen character is expecting. Everyone is aware of HEART OF DARKNESS as making up the basis for some of the film but for some reason Michael Herr's DISPATCHES has been almost completely overlooked. Herr served as a "technical advisor" but i don't think DISPATCHES was ever credited. DISPATCHES was a series of articles written by Herr as a freelance war correspondent from Vietnam. All the stuff that people associate most with APOCALYPSE NOW is in this amazing book, IIRC - the trippped-out soldiers shooting aimlessly into the jungle, Wagner played from helicopters, surfing under enemy fire. It's surreal stuff and apparently all true.It's the pre-Kurtz stuff in APOCALYPSE NOW that I liked the best. I felt the whole HEART OF DARKNESS business was just tacked on in an effort to get some sort of structure happening & it wasn't successful - particularly Brando's portrayal of Kurtz.All in all, a very flawed film but it did have some of the most memorable images in film, IMO.


# To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to
#  This will not work for the digest version.
# The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Apr 2002 EDT