Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Camera Never Lies...When It Dies, Man, When It Dies, He Dies...

This 1967 photo of Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor surfaced recently in Elizabeth Taylor: Queen of the Silver Screen, by Ian Lloyd.

But, oh man, this photo should have been one of the dossier photos seen when Capt. Willard leafs through Col. Kurtz's file on the boat in Apocalypse Now. It captures perfectly Kurtz's shattered psyche, and, dating from 1967, inherently possesses the perfect elements of dress, hairstyle, and photographic quality for a snapshot that, in the context of the film, would date from the early to mid-1960s.

Imagine seeing this snapshot among the army photos and documents chronicling Kurtz's rise through the ranks and descent into madness, as Willard narrates, "He broke from them, and then he broke from himself. I'd never seen a man so broken up and ripped apart."

Such verisimilitude portraying that Col. Kurtz had indeed gone totally insane...even if this photo tacitly implies that he broke from himself first.

It's a shame that this photo wasn't available to Francis Ford Coppola during principal photography—but Coppola could re-cut the film to insert it. Why not? There already are so many re-edited and reduxed versions that one more hardly seems a big deal.

Perhaps for Apocalypse Now's 35th anniversary...

I hope Coppola will; this photo would add one more layer of weird to this ultimate tale of the Vietnam War's insanity.

(Photo from Apocalypse Now copyright Zoetrope Studios.)

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