Hardly surprisingly, the horrors of the Vietnam War seem to lurk persistently in the collective American psyche. And for everything happening at this year’s 18th edition of the exalted Tribeca Film Festival (including the premiere of Danny Boyle’s much buzzed about Yesterday), perhaps the greatest level of anticipation is thusly reserved for the debut of the special 40th Anniversary release of Francis Ford Coppola’s chilling classic Apocalypse Now.
Adapted from the Joseph Conrad novel Heart of Darkness, director Coppola, along with screenwriters John Milius and Michael Herr, moved the story from Colonial Africa to the Cambodian jungle, where Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz has gone mad, and is ordered to be “terminated with extreme prejudice.” The moral and ethical chaos that unfolds as Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard seeks out his target represents perhaps the most raw, unflinching depiction of the gruesome nihilism of contemporary warfare – so perfectly encapsulated in the now legendary Colonel Kilgore (as played by Robert Duvall) quote, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
The new version has been remastered in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision® and Dolby Atmos® from a 4K scan of the original negative – very technical sounding jargon which actually translates to colors that are apparently 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times blacker.
“Restoring Apocalypse Now: Final Cut forty years later has been a tremendous undertaking and joy,” enthuses Coppola. “I am thrilled to be able to share [it] with the world for the first time at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. The audience will be able to see, hear and feel this film how I always hoped it could be – from the first ‘bang’ to the final whimper.”
The screening will take place April 28, at 5pm, at New York’s historic Beacon Theatre, and will be followed by a discussion of the film with Coppola himself.