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Essay on Varying Interpretations of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now

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Varying Interpretations of Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now


    The true meaning of varying interpretations comes alive when one compares the two film versions of Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now have the same basic outline and underlying themes, however the plots, characters, settings, time, purposes, and points of view differ enough to create two extremely different effects and two entirely opposite movies. Both movies depict an insanity: of man in Heart of Darkness and of war in Apocalypse Now. It is ironic that Heart of Darkness, the movie replica of the novel, is a boring, slow-paced flop of a production, while Apocalypse Now, a loosely based film, had great success and audience appeal. Heart of Darkness is a 1994 Turner Network Television (TNT) Pictures made for TV movie, directed by Nicolas Roeg. It is based so exactly on the Joseph Conrad novel that the differences between the two are almost indiscernible. As in the novel, the Nellie floats on the Thames River while Marlow, played by Tim Roth, tells of his journey into Africa. He is employed by an English trading company and assigned to sail up the Congo to the inner ivory station. He takes along Mfumu, a black native cannibal, as a companion. They encounter strange situations with company managers, the accountant, natives, cannibals, a sunken ship, and natural disasters. All along the way, Marlow hears of Kurtz, the corrupted chief of the Inner Station, played by John Malkovich, and becomes obsessed with finding him. As he nears the station, natives attack the boat and kill Mfumu. Marlow meets a Harlequin who tells him personal stories about Kurtz and his methods of becoming both admired and feared by the native tribe. Wh...


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...calypse' cast filled with rage http://collegian.ksu.edu/issues/v099B/fa/n022/a-e-apocalypse-fortmeyer.html created 1994 (accessed 23 Jan. 1997).

Heart of Darkness. Dir. Nicolas Roeg. Turner Network Television (TNT) Pictures, 1994.

Heart of Darkness: Theme/Symbol/Allusion/Foreshadow http://164.116.90.3/public/jarvinen/hod.html (accessed 23 Jan. 1997).

Nash, Jay Robert, and Stanley Ralph Ross. "Apocalypse Now" The Motion Picture Guide. Chicago: Cinebooks, 1985.

Urch, Martin. Apocalypse Now: A film review by Martin Urch http://us.imdb.com/Reviews/30/3030 created 1994 (accessed 23 Jan. 1997).

Virtanen, Panu S. The filming of 'Apocalypse Now' http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/9067/filming.html (accessed 26 Jan. 1997).

Virtanen, Panu S. Plot summary of 'Apocalypse Now' http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/9067/plot.html (accessed 26 Jan. 1997).


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