Discuss the film Apocalypse now in terms of the memory it creates of the Vietnam War?

Essay by ScandleUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, February 2008

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Using the Sturken reading for context, discuss the film Apocalypse now in terms of the memory it creates of the Vietnam War?The Vietnam War has been unanimously described as the “Television War” and Francis Coppola’s movie Apocalypse Now immediately plays with this controversial relationship. In one of its opening battle scenes Martin Sheen, who plays Captain Willard enters the devastation of the battlefield, grenades explode near by and bullets whistle through the air. As Willard tries to acclimatise to the chaos that surrounds him he is waved on by a film director and his camera crew, Willard stops in disbelief to look at the crew, who in response simply demand that he not look at the camera and keep on moving.

It is within this opening scene that we can clearly see that Director Frank Coppola is drawing upon televisions role within the war to bring his audience into the reality of his picture.

By having this camera crew invade his cinematic space Coppola was able to deliberately break the 4th wall convention of cinema and erase the boundary between his screens fiction and his audiences reality. By fracturing his audience’s distinction between fiction and reality Coppola pulls his audience into his picture, no longer are they at a critical distant from the atrocities on screen they are now reminded that all the events they will see on this screen have reels of real life footage stocked away in news archives across the world. Discussing the importance of this realism within the audience Veteran Henry Allen quotes that “it wasn’t that these folks couldn’t tell the difference between the war and a movie; they didn’t want to…. In their way, I think the wonted to be veterans too.” This film evokes the memory that this war was real, that...