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IB Film - Case Studies
Apocalypse Now
Director Francis Ford Coppola 

Released in 1979

Country: USA 

Genre: Drama, Action, War 

Synopsis: It is the height of the war in Vietnam, and U.S. Army Captain Willard is sent to carry out a mission that, officially, 'does not exist - nor will it ever exist'. The mission: To seek out a mysterious Green Beret Colonel, Walter Kurtz, whose army has crossed the border into Cambodia and is conducting hit-and-run missions against the Viet Cong and NVA. 



This film won Golden Palm at Cannes film festival and 2 Oscars. The director Coppola was attracted by the original of this film, novel and wanted to make a film with a philosophical theme in a background of Vietnam War. The scriptwriter started working on it and the real film-making began. But nobody actually expected that this film-making would be extremely rough and difficult. The problems occurred from the beginning. The government of Philippines at that time didn't manage to supply facilities that were promised in advance. Besides the jungle met the worst climate ever (the worst hurricane in 40 years) and forced to suspend filming for 6 weeks. Actors suffered both physically and mentally in the poor filming conditions. Director Coppola himself also lost confidence about his film and failed to control himself. The most of staff was often in a state of panic. The scenario kept being modified during filming and people sometimes administered drugs. The initial planned period of filming was 4 months but the period exceeded 15 months and the film was about 370 hours long. In order to screen this film in theaters in 1979, Coppola had to cut the 5 hour long film into 2 hour long as he was short of money. In 2001 in the Cannes film festival the director Coppola introduced 'Apocalypse Now Redux' which is the full 5 hour long 'Apocalypse Now'.

Yoon-Jee Kim




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