Saturday, 2 May 2009

Apocalypse Now

I first saw the film towards the end of primary school and read Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness' [on which the film is loosely based] a few years later. The journey that Willard/Marlow make in both the book and film always give me flashbacks to the boat trip i made aged 6 [yep that fatefully trip where the boat didn't sink] Its a bit of a 'clutching-at-straws' link but the characters in the film/book have to journey up a river into the 'heart of darkness' to face truths about life, humanity and the darkness that lurks within all of mankind - which in the case of the films title uses the duality of the meaning of 'Apocalypse' - both as a Revelation and the End. The notion of the boat trip leading to a revelation [or apocalypse] has been employed as a reference for my work, and I can't help but draw pararlells between the overall ideas of the film/book and my own experience - I'm not for one minute implying that my boat trip was anything like the one Willard goes on in the film!! I'm talking about the metaphorically meaning to the trip.

I've posted the very opening of the film and the very end [well if you listen to the commentary on the ending clip Coppola himself will explain why its the ending for some versions and not the others - its better to mute that clip though, i only wanted the images] The opening contains quite possibly one of the best ever uses of music within a film, and really sets the tone for the film [and gives me goosebumps] the marriage of Jim Morrison's lyrics with the imagery on screen is beautiful, and again something I've tried to incorporate into my work by using carefully chosen lyrics as titles [all songs that have inspired the work]. The clip from the end where Kurtz Compound is blown up is pretty darn spectacular, and the coloured smoke and flames heavily influenced the skies in my paintings [along with Iron Maiden and Metallica artwork] it literally looks like the End of the World...

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