“There are two of you, you see: one that loves and one that kills.”
My torrid love affair with Apocalypse Now began in my high school AP English class. We watched it after school as a companion to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which I was currently in engaged in a dark humid muddy affair. Apocalypse Now has always been associated with smoking for me. Before my first viewing, my friend Matt and I slipped up the road to his house to get high (he lived two minutes from school) while his mom went to McDonald’s to get us munchies (because she was that kind of mom). Then after the movie, we smoked cigarettes as we walked back to his house to get stoned again. From the very first strains of “The End”, I knew that Apocalypse Now and I were going to be very close. ”The End” was already one of my favorite fuck songs/cutting songs/getting high to/ getting drunk to/belly dancing songs, so it was only natural that anything that it introduced to me was going to become an intimate companion.
Later on that same year I had my own fan allusion, where I came to out of a Rimeron haze lying on my living room floor watching the fan go around and around, just like Huey blades.
Apocalypse Now is a very sexy movie. The artistry of the cinematography. The eye candy interwoven with the blood and grit. The jokes and idiosyncrasies of war. The absolute brilliant and elegant script. It’s the total poetic package.
As you all know, I’m a gritty kind of girl, so the blood, guts, and mud, hooked me and made my clit twitch. And then you get towards the end of the movie, and the Pagan overtones start to become obvious with the Cult of Kurtz. By the end of the movie, how could you not want to bathe yourself in buffalo blood and fuck Martin Sheen while he’s stuck in a bamboo cage or tied up in a very compromising auto-erotic asphyxiation position with a buddy’s head in his lap? I can’t help but lust after his machete. The dual sacrifices set everything in the world back on track. The killing of a god.
And then like your girl friend getting breast enhancements, it got even better and the “Redux” version came out, and I fell even more helplessly in love. I can understand how sitting in a theater through the whole uncut movie could be a bit much, but some of the best parts, my absolute favorite part, were not included in the original film. After wrapping myself up in the luscious smokiness of the “Redux” the original is sorely lacking.
And smoke is everywhere in both versions of the film. The army and navy and air cav are constantly igniting colored smoke bombs to obscure view in a literal smoke screen and to signal to the forces and helicopters. Scene after scene is filled with the smoke of napalmed trees and bombed villages. Willard is almost never seen without a cigarette in his mouth. The “Street Gang” crew crouches down in the turret to smoke pot. Kilgore (is that not just the most perfect character name for this movie?) has his cigarette in his “man” length holder and then later on smokes cigars with his surf crew.
And now we’re to my favorite section of the “Redux” version: The French rubber plantation. I love the brunette, “Claudine” who feeds the Elder de Marais. She is such an exotic beauty. Her features hint of mixed blood, like an illicit affair behind a rubber tree, but she is so intoxicating, that the indiscretions of her ancestors can be forgiven.
Then you have Madame Sarrault, who while she’s not a smoking beauty, she is a beauty who smokes, from after dinner cigars to opium.
My favorite is her pressed naked against the mosquito netting with Willard reaching up to cup her breast. It turns me on every time.
If you’ve never seen Apocalypse Now, it’s worth the however many hours of your life it takes to watch it. If you think you’re not going to like it, drink while you watch it. Willard drinks through out the entire film.
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