The article analyzed herein is part of the Apocalypse Now film. Apocalypse Now is about the Vietnam War whereby Captain Willard was sent to accomplish a dangerous mission of assassinating renegade Colonel in Cambodia. The clip starts off with music accompanied by the playing of musical instruments and traditional dances. The film then directs us to a dark room where we see a troubled man lying upside down. The voiceover explains the man’s mission to accomplish people’s will. Several rituals are carried out within the film, which include the merciless slaughtering of a cow. The man described earlier is seen to be trying to get his way to dangerous place through the poorly lit paths whereby he is forced to kill some individuals on his way. Towards the end of the clip, the man accomplishes his mission by killing the target individual. The film gives us a close view of the agonizing individual giving his last words which are “horror, horror…”
There are various editing and audio techniques used in this clip to drive the different themes of the film. One striking feature of the film is the dominance of darkness. Some parts of the clips are carved out of total darkness. The low lighting of the film signifies the heart darkness of the antagonists. Also, the darkness can be an illustration of how the characters are trapped in war and agony which is hard to escape. Shadows also characterize the clip with the faces of most of the characters being half lit. It is hard to recognize most of the characters in the clip due to the low lighting of their faces. Shadows and darkness are used to illustrate the theme of war in the film. The shadows fall on the faces of the characters making the faces to be half lit and half dark. This can be used to illustrate the moral crisis experienced by the characters of doing good or evil.
Another feature of the clip is the use of extremely saturated colors. The red flames are highlighted in deep red color which is reflected on the faces of the film’s characters. The deep red color is used to emphasize further the theme of war and the agony it brings on people. The red flames resemble the typical hellfire. The characters seem to be trapped in a dehumanizing environment with no escape.
The use of close-ups is another feature used in the clip. In a bid to help us get to understand the main characters better and relate to what they are going through, a close view of their faces is used. Towards the end of the clip, the face of the protagonist is shown at a very close glance as he lies down in agony. Through the close-up, we can see his tears, every blink, sweat, and shadows crossing over his face, which helps us relate to what he is going through. As he murmurs his last words, (“horror, horror…”) we can see the agony and pain he is experiencing.
Audio techniques have also been applied dominantly in the clip. At the start of the clip, music is used to create tension on an upcoming war. The songs sound like war songs and the musical instruments are used appropriately to build up tension. Sounds have been used in the clip to create anticipation of a forthcoming action. For instance, a song of war is played in the background as Willard loams in the darkness just before he strangles one of the guards. Through the effective use of film edits and audio techniques, the main themes of the clip have been brought out clearly.