Download this Research Paper in word format. Willard's internal trauma is representative of the shock many Americans must have felt at seeing the violence inflicted in their name, and thus his killing of Kurtz represents a kind of superficial destruction of the "bad seed" that supposedly tainted the otherwise respectable and honorable American military. By focusing on the "primitive" evil embodied by Kurtz, the film allows the more "subtle and civilized manifestations of evil" in the form of American foreign policy to go unquestioned Maier-Katkin One can see the irony of American imperialism supposedly being "defeated" in Apocalypse Now simply by noting that just a few months after its release in August ofthe Iranian Revolution and subsequent hostage crisis once again brought to the fore the widespread and ongoing effects of American imperialism.
A comparative analysis of novella and film In the opening scenes of the documentary film "Hearts of Darkness-A Filmmaker's Apocalypse," Eleanor Coppola describes her husband Francis's film, "Apocalypse Now," as being "loosely based" on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Indeed, "loosely" is the word; the period, setting, and circumstances of the film are totally different from those of the novella.
Heart of Darkness vs. Apocalypse Now Both the novel "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad and the movie "Apocalypse Now" are about one man's journey through Africa and Vietnam. A comparison and contrast can be made between the two. Since the dawn of American cinema history, Hollywood has turned to works of fiction as source material for films - Comparing and Contrasting Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now introduction. It has been said that film and fiction have both fed at the same breast. Feb 13, · In the second half of the lecture, Christina Hendricks discusses themes of light and dark, surface and depth in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, as well as concerns about racism (as put forward by Chinua Achebe) and misogynism in the text.
The question, therefore, is whether any of Conrad's classic story of savagery and madness is extant in its cinematic reworking. It is this question that I shall attempt to address in this brief monograph by looking more closely at various aspects of character, plot, and theme in each respective work.
The story of Heart of Darkness is narrated by its central character, the seasoned mariner Marlowe, a recurring figure in Conrad's work. Army special forces operative assigned to go up the Nung river from Viet Nam into Cambodia in order to "terminate the command" of one Colonel Walter Kurtz whom, he is told, has gone totally insane.
It is fitting that Marlowe's character should be renamed, as Willard differs from Marlowe in several significant ways: However, Willard does communicate Marlowe's fascination growing, in fact, into an obsession with Kurtz.
Also significant is the fact that he holds the rank of captain, tying in with Marlowe's occupation. As to the character of Kurtz, it is worth noting that while significant discrepancies exist between the depictions of Conrad and Coppola, the basic nature of the man remains fairly similar.
The idea of company man turned savage, of a brilliant and successful team-player, being groomed by "the Company" for greater things, suddenly gone native, is perfectly realized in both novella and film.
In the film, Kurtz is portrayed by Marlon Brando, the father of American method actors, who lends weight both physically and dramatically to the figure of the megalomaniacal Kurtz.
Brando's massive girth is all the more ironic for those familiar with Heart of Darkness who recall Conrad's description: It was as though an animated image of death carved out of old ivory had been shaking its hand with menaces at a motionless crowd of men One could speculate that Coppola's Kurtz is a graphic analogy of the bloated American war machine dominating and perverting the innocent montegnards of Cambodia; however, after viewing Eleanor Coppola's documentary, one finds that the casting was more based on a combination of Coppola's wanting to work with Brando remember "The Godfather" and Brando's own weight problem.
This role is rendered in grand, demented style by Dennis Hopper, replete with a plethora of cameras he is an American photojournalist to update his fool's motley. Much of his dialogue is taken directly from Conrad, although his character does not flee the scene as does his doppelganger in Heart of Darkness.
Regarding plot, as stated earlier, Coppola's rendering of Heart of Darkness diverges wildly from Conrad. Conrad's story depicts a turn of the century riverboat captain transporting members of an unnamed "Company," an ivory trading concern, up a snake-like river winding its way into the Belgian Congo in order to locate their top "agent" and relieve him of his independently-stockpiled ivory.
The Company has judged Kurtz to be a renegade whose methods are "unsound. Again, Colonel Kurtz is considered by the parties in charge to be insane, his methods unsound a direct dialogue echo from the text.
This last fact, however, that Willard is from the beginning an assassin, is a fundamental difference between the film and the book. It changes the whole psychological dynamic between that of Marlowe and Kurtz.
In Conrad, Marlowe is in awe of Kurtz, comes to identify with him in some dark recess of his own psyche; Willard, on the other hand, is more impressed with Kurtz's credentials than moved by his force of mind and will. His mission to kill Kurtz gives him some measure of pause, but his military protocol mentality ultimately rules the day.
Compared with Marlowe's deep, searching ruminations on the dark, enigmatic Kurtz, Willard is a government-issue automaton. Add to this the fact that the first two thirds of the movie "Apocalypse Now" are concerned with the Viet Nam war and have absolutely nothing to do with the plot of Heart of Darkness, and it seems as if there is an unmendable rift between the film and its purported inspiration.
To be fair, however, it is important to mention that the two plots do converge at the point just before the boat parties arrive at Kurtz's station, when a thick fog envelops each boat and a rain of arrows showers down on the passengers.
From here we witness the death of the black helmsman by a spear, the greeting of the fool figure, and, finally the meeting with the mad Kurtz. Which brings us to the question of theme. The dominant theme of Heart of Darkness is man's vulnerability to his own darker nature and the various ways in which this terrible, savage, proto-man can be unleashed; power, the jungle, "the Company," all serve as catalysts for the emergence of this hidden, voracious id-thing within us all, most realized in Kurtz.
In "Apocalypse Now," Coppola is right on target in exploring this theme, his choice of Viet Nam in the sixties providing all the requisite elements: Army, or perhaps the U.
This last touch is ingenious, as it calls up a whole series of speculations regarding the various forms of imperialism. In Conrad, set at the turn of the century, the imperialism is traditional, overt. In Coppola, the U.The parallels between Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness have been outlined by various critics and Coppola himself.
There are a variety of thematic parallels including mysticism, foreign invasion, and the heroes of the stories. Between Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Coppola's Apocalypse Now Apocalypse Now is a very vivid and sometimes disturbing film centered on the Vietnam War.
Because it was based on Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness, it is possible to draw some parallels between the two. - Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now is the epic Vietnam War film based on the novel Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
However the word ‘based’ as to be called into question as the two differ quite dramatically. Conrad's Heart of Darkness is a rich, vivid, layered, paradoxical, and problematic novella or long tale; a mixture of oblique autobiography, traveller's yarn, adventure story, psychological.
This paper looks at the relationship between Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Coppola’s Apocalypse now. This paper compares and contrasts these two works, suggesting that it departs significantly from the novel.
Despite this, however, the film in general remains true to the core meaning of the novel. Apocalypse Now is director Francis Ford Coppola's film based on Heart of Darkness but set in the jungles of Vietnam.
While some critics found the film belabored and muddled, most agreed that it was a powerful and important examination not only of America's military involvement in Vietnam, but like Conrad's novel, a disturbing treatment of the darkness potentially inherent in all human hearts.