Apocalypse now and forever

Review of Apocalypse Now (1979)

Review of Apocalypse Now (1979) movie, by Stefan Stenudd


Coppola's apocalyptic vision belongs to an ever present now. The dark sides of human character, the purgatory we frequently create for ourselves, unwillingly - that just doesn't end. It is often said that Heaven is right here, right now - well, if so, hell is too.



       When the soldiers take the boat up-river, deeper into a strange and terrible land, it is like going on the river Styx to that domain, where mercy ends. Also, it's the long and troublesome travels of Odysseus, before coming home - to find that home is irrevocably changed. And it's Stanley's long search for Dr. Livingstone.

       Mythical grounds. The water of the subconscious, the jungle of irrationality - man's curse and blessing in one.

       Marlon Brando is divine in his acting. As soon as he appears, the long time leading up to it just disappears, and he is a demon, a monster from the beyond - still, so real, so true as an archetype of human dignity, maybe the most fundamental of our talents, gone awry. The horror.

       This is the first time I see the film, in 2003, more than 20 years after it premiered. I chose to wait. So many movies deteriorate in a much shorter period than that, but this one, I dare say, is enforced by time, and will continue to be.

Stefan Stenudd
4 February 2003




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Ever Young. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. Sunday Brunch with the World Maker. Novel by Stefan Stenudd. All's End. Science fiction novel by Stefan Stenudd.
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I'm a Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihan aikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.