For Memorial Day weekend, Sounds of Cinema will feature a condensed version of the two disc soundtrack to Apocalypse Now. The soundtrack includes the music, dialogue, narration, and sound effects and plays like a radio drama.
Based on Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now tells the story of Captain Willard, an American soldier in Vietnam who is given a secret mission to assassinate an American colonel who has gone insane deep within the Southeast Asian jungle. On Willard’s journey he confronts his own doubts about the war, his allegiance to his country, and even his own sanity.
Apocalypse Now is an unconventional war film. There are none of the typical war film clichés; no taking the hill, no waving flags, no Rambo-style heroics, no buddies in combat. Instead, Apocalypse Now is a journey from the order and relative civility of the military command through a progressively chaotic and uncouth battlefield, stripping away the social and technological signs of human advancement and returning the characters to a primal state of nature. By doing this, Apocalypse Now examines the roots of violence and the nature of warfare, making the film an exploration of the Thanatos drive.
Apocalypse Now was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and contains a unique and ground breaking sound mix by Walter Murch. The screenplay was written by John Milius and Frances Ford Coppola and the narration is credited to Michael Herr.
Here is a video of Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola talking about the film on its fortieth anniversary.
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