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Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut, Sun February 5
2:00 PM

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Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut shows at IFS on Sun February 5, 2:00 PM

Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut

Sun February 5
2:00 PM

Based very loosely on Joseph Conrad’s turn-of-the-century novella, The Heart of Darkness, the film is set in the final years of the Vietnam war, with Marlin Sheen as an American officer, who, like Conrad’s main character, Marlow, goes up-river to seek an in sane killer only this time, the river is in Vietnam and Cambodia, and the madman is renegade Army officer, Col. Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Sheen’s instructions are to “terminate his command.”

Top credit, of course, belongs to Coppola — producer, director, co-author and co-composer (with Carmine Coppola, his father). In each of these capacities, he seems to be testing not only his own capabilities, but those of his chosen medium. If his talent is prodigious, his prodigality with it is even more impressive. It’s immediately evident in the many panoramic scenes of combat, filmed in wide-screen Technovision, in which each frame fairly explodes with action; and also in his use of Dolby-enhanced sound that puts one in the thick of the fighting at one moment and deep in the jungle fastness at the next.

I have always maintained that the mark of a great director is not the excellence of one or two performances, but the quality of the ensemble playing, and I offer Apocalypse Now as my ultimate justification. The cast is enormous, made up of both professionals and non-pros. But I would defy anyone to say which was which simply on the basis of performance. Brando, of course, bald and Buddha like, totally dominates the last half-hour of the film with his brooding intensity — a failing lion bereft of his pride and his strength, but still quite dangerous. It’s another addition to his vast gallery of memorable screen portraits. Perhaps even more astonishing, though, is Martin Sheen’s portrayal of the driven, cynical Willard, a man who has been at war too long to have a taste for any other kind of life, but who under takes his assignment at least in part to discover what it is about war that can turn a superior man like Kurtz (or himself, for that matter) into a monster. Sheen works with a total lack of self-consciousness, remaining always inside the character, staring out of it in disbelief and horror at the carnage and slaughter that surrounds him.

I regard Apocalypse Now as a masterful achievement, one that more than warrants the waiting. The only thing I fear, since it comes so late in the cycle, is that audiences may turn away from it as being just another movie about the war in Vietnam. It isn’t, any more than Conrad was writing about the cruelties of colonial exploitation. For both, the specific settings merely provided the staging area for their deeper concerns — an exploration of the motivating forces that might explain man’s inhumanity to man. Each has succeeded in his own way, and brilliantly.

Arthur Knight, The Hollywood Reporter

To see a trailer and read a review, visit


10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

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