The distorted sounds of helicopter blades. The drunken punch that shatters the mirror. The “Ride of the Valkyries” attack. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” The slaughtering of the water buffalo. “The horror… the horror.” In the nearly three-hour runtime of its original cut, Apocalypse Now delivers these and many more of the most vivid cinematic moments of the 1970s, the era of “New Hollywood”—when young auteurs like its director Francis Ford Coppola swept in and demolished the boundaries of mainstream American cinema—and that of the Vietnam War the film depicts as well.
Yet for all its artistic and cultural impact, the film hasn’t received quite as much scrutiny as you might imagine. Or at least that’s how it looked to professional cinephile Lewis Bond, known for his work on Channel Criswell, when he first took stock of Apocalypse Now‘s analytical video essay landscape.- openculture.com