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Apocalypse Now

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Apocalypse Now -Ella mavar

Apocalypse now is set in Vietnam in the 1970s and is directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Before the opening scene we hear the sound of a helicopter however the screen remains black. The opening scene displays a vast jungle with beautiful vegetation. Suddenly however the director composes a stark contrast from the natures beauty to mass destruction; the audience is taken back by the plummeting bombs, when a man’s face slowly begins to emerge; the rainforest fire continues to spread onto his face with the blades of the helicopter beside. The scene is cleverly crafted, when the man is smoking a cigarette the fire from the fire lights it. Therefore implies that he is inhaling death itself perhaps.

Mise en sene is also used in this opening. Lighting is essential in this film, in order to send the right message to the audience; Low light characterizes the opening scene giving a mysterious atmosphere.

Saturated colours are used to emphases the pristine jungle thriving in its beauty. The flames are voluminous, a vermilion deep red, which represents the evil and death associated with fire. Conflicting with the lush deep greens that express the tranquillity of the rainforest. The Usage of fog is used to create uncertainty, suspense and confusion; in order to produce the feelings and understanding the director wants to present to his audience. Also the low light and blinds create bars of light as if he is trapped.

The camera movement is slow moving and a long shot is used to put emphasis on the man’s face; aligning the audience face with his ensures that we are able to connect with him at every level during the film. A wide angle shot enables you to see items on the periphery of the scene-the expanse of the jungle surrounding. When we meet the main character lying unconscious in his secluded hotel room, a relationship is instantly formed. We are to identify with him as the narration of his thoughts allows us to see the world from his perspective. We are his companion throughout this journey.

This opening scene has great significance because it outlines Captain Willard’s own mental fatigue and how the war truly had an effect on his mind. Knowing Willard’s state of mine and psychological vulnerability, leads us to question his next actions and really grasp the audience. The images form layers upon layers where it



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