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Surfing?!?...Nicole Carroll

Francis Capolla’s Apocalypse Now is a rather bizarre film, but has the best portrait of Vietnam War I’ve seen. The strange detail that messes with your mind in the beginning is how they don’t roll through any sort of credits or title, so one doesn’t know if they are actually watching the film already or just previews. This sets the mood for the rest of the film with a sense of symbolism with the wide non-conclusive opening into the film. Throughout this film there lies a kind of openness that can infuriate a viewer of the film, because it makes no conclusions or inferences about the war. Apocalypse gyrates around that idea of violence and fear of the Vietnam War.

During the Helicopter attack over the village you can see the pain and anguish in their face before they even take off. They know that they are going into a huge attack and no one knows what to come of it, especially when one of the captains of a helicopter uses music as they enter to scare the Vietnamese. One senses fear during the attack, when they tell the Seargant, “It’s still pretty hair out there.? And the Seargant tells them, “You either surf or fight?? He’s all about the rest and relaxation when fighting which I feel is rather weird, especially when they are bombing the living daylights out of the village. I guess he’s more about having fun while fighting than living, because he’s wants to surf while the others are hiding in their holes.

In Leo Cawley, The War about the War, he explains that in films that have a more promilitary slant, there is a heavy reliance on a “war is hell? message until…the Rambo and Chuck Norris part of the war becomes exciting and fun, but because of the political spectrum of attitudes towards the war is oddly uninformative. Much more is going on (2001). This is exactly what is going on in Apocalypse Now, because they are having their fun, but this fun has a much deeper meaning that I couldn’t figure out. This is why I leave someone with this question…What’s the deeper meaning of this fun of surfing during a live battle in a village?!?