domenica, settembre 16, 2012

Kinshasa . . . shit.

This weekend was nice. We had lots of social time, which (although I probably would have physically preferred to sleep through it) I made myself enjoy on the principle that it will be hard to have it and enjoy it before two months are up. But the highlight was watching Apocalypse Now at a local cinema that has a one-a-month classic movie night.

Apocalypse Now has the distinction of being the only film adaptation that I like of a book I love. It also has the related distinction of being my favourite war movie. I've complained in the past was coherently as I'm able about how I'm fucking sick of being subjected to the narrative of the loser as pertains to the Vietnam War, and even mentioned Apocalypse Now in that regard. Good God, Vietnam movies where the war is treated as some sort of American coming-of-age story are a whole fuckin' sub-genre. They got their asses kicked despite killing about a kabillion people in three different countries and engaging in an incredibly expensive military strategy - what I'm interested in is how the winners managed that, not in how that made the losers feel. Maybe if there'd been a better social focus on that in the years since the war, Americans would be better at wars these days. Or at least better at picking'em. (Here's an interesting doco more along those lines.)

And don't give me that shit about how the Americans lost in Vietnam, rather than the Vietnamese having won there, because the war was unpopular in America. Just about all wars are won or lost depending on how popular they are back at home, and if they "end" while they're still popular enough, they haven't really ended (see World War II and the whole fuckin' Middle East). Americans and Vietnam aren't some magical unicorn exception to that. 

Nonetheless I love Apocalypse Now as a war movie above all others because it captures the utter chaos and ridiculousness of anonymous organized conflict and how people die in the same way Heart of Darkness captured the utter chaos and ridiculousness of how people died in the organized exploitation of the Congo under Leopold The Fuckwitted Cunt of a Belgian (see elsewhere for me going on and on about that). For me it isn't a movie about Vietnam so much as a movie about the chaos and ridiculousness of unchained brutality overseen by an administration - about how administration, how the professional maintenance of some sort of predictable status quo, doesn't equate with less brutality and inhumanity. This shared illustration, more than the plot, is what makes it a successful adaptation of Heart of Darkness.

Nessun commento: