Apocalypse Now Cinematography

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Category: Music and Cinema

Date Submitted: 09/22/2011 09:23 PM

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Essay Assignment #1

When looking at a film I look for a few things that stands out and one is usually cinematography. In Apocalypse Now the color scheme is phenomenal, the color of the movie was a constant reminder of how choosing a color scheme can be so powerful. In the beginning of the movie, we view Captain Willard as he waits for his mission. Once he gets the mission and heads to the jungle, there is an obvious visual pattern in the jungle and the war, fire (yellow, oranges, reds). Fire has been consistently been part of the movie. The beginning of the movie shows blood as he punches the mirror and then there is the shrimp while he gets his mission. Then he is stuck in war and is are clearly lots of blood and fire there. And it continues until Captain Willard gets really deep until the jungle. When he gets close to the crazy Kurtz, the scene gets very dark and misty. There is a lot of fog and darkness. Once he reaches the ruined city Kurtz changed, there is a lot of yellow and oranges in the city. I think it is supposed to resemble the fires that are burning (which also are symbolic) and the reflection from those fires. From the camera angles and highlighting this, it makes it obvious that the colors are not a coincidence, it was planned and arranged. Then, it is clear how yellow and shadowing cinematography is used when the climax happens. When Capt. Willard finally finds Kurtz, there is not a full shot of his face for a while. I get snippets and undistinguishable angles of him in which I cannot form a look together. By not being able to see his full face, it is very difficult for me to personify Kurtz. The yellow makes it seem much more glum and conveys the image in which Kurtz has more power and fierceness than he actually does. By planning and organizing the shadowing, it changes the basic image and it changes the emotion it makes. Personally, I feel as if Kurtz is more inhuman and much more evil because I cannot picture him as a human. I cannot picture...