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french plantation scene apocalypse now

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Looking at Apocalypse Now today through clear eyes raises the question: barring something like Heaven & Earth, is the Vietnam War the kind of event that ultimately resists the traditional subjective interpretation of Western auteur cinema? The sixth chakra reflects the second; now the sexual energy of physical love can also be transformed into a conscious compassionate love, altering the way we observe and interact with the world. These sculptures – often seen in Buddhist culture as the sideways glancing faces on the “Three Headed Buddha” – represent a passage through what had been perceived as pairs of opposites, moving towards the realization that they are actually two parts of a single continuum. The Vietnam War was singular at the time because of its extensive televisual documentation: it was the first war to be broadcast up close, in color, and while it was happening. Francis Ford Coppola and co-writer John Milius had used these various symbols to unfold the story of their protagonist Captain Willard, creating a model Hero’s Journey: the psychological and spiritual odyssey of a human evolution. In the process of this montage, the sculpted face of the Buddha appears next to the face of Willard, the two of them filling the entire screen. Hearing her comment in the context of the chakra system, we can imagine the one who kills being driven by the lower chakras, and the one that loves being motivated by compassion. But we know Kurtz is tiring of this cold logic. Released as a director’s cut of Apocalypse Now in 2001, it is for me a metaphorical masterpiece deserving recognition not only in the world of film, but also in the disciplines of mythology and comparative religion. Initiation Some critics, however, thought the new scenes slowed the pacing, were too lengthy (notably the French plantation sequence), and added nothing overall to the film's impact. This sentiment is reflected later in the French plantation scene when Madam Sarrault whispers in Captain Willard’s ears about his two selves: “one that kills and one that loves.” Apocalypse Now views Vietnam as a mythical land full of unknowable, exotic forces, implying that not just the war but the country itself possesses some power to cast the American soldiers into the dark side. The pacing of APOCALYPSE NOW is never propulsive, but the French plantation scene kills it stone dead. Once it arrives, Minos is to sacrifice the bull in honor of Poseidon’s favor, but he finds it such a magnificent animal he decides to keep it for himself. Outwardly, it is a statement on the insanity of warfare in general, and the Vietnam War in particular. The attitude of Kilgore (who is casual about the fight against “Charlie,” but views surfing as serious business) and the men who surround him falls in direct contrast to what we, the audience, experience. Kurtz’ mind, consumed by energies yet to be transformed by the heart chakra, has taken the will to power to its logical extreme; he is bent on dominating a world where ends justify the means because he has convinced himself that the only way he can feel inwardly safe is to annihilate anyone who disagrees with him in the outer world. Where is the magnetic leader, the brilliant and brutal strategist? Your email address will not be published. The sculptures also represent the Judeo-Christian cherubim on the eastern side of the Garden of Eden, as well as the gate guardians found at the entrance to Buddha shrines – both sets of symbols having the same function as the opposing Buddhas. As we approach him, we approach, too, a disturbing idea: perhaps Kurtz is not mad.

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