Book Vs. Movie: Heart of Darkness & Apocalypse Now
The Joseph Conrad Classic Novel Vs the Francis Ford Coppola Classic Film
The Margos are going to talk about the multiple “horrors” of the 1899 Joseph Conrad novel Heart of Darkness and the 1979 Apocalypse Now film directed by Francis Ford Coppola which are both considered classics of their genre. They both follow the story of men who enter into dangerous situations which could either be a sly attack of European colonialism or more pandering to the white man as true leader mythos. Either way--we are a podcast that talks about the author, novel and then compares the filmed adaptation to decide which we like better. We are NOT experts on film, books, or colonialism. So if you are writing a paper about any of this, do not consider us a huge source. This is for entertainment!
Joseph Conrad is considered one of the greatest novelists of all time and was born in Poland to revolutionaries and political activists. He had a chaotic upbringing being raised by his mother’s brother and being educated on and off until his 20s. Conrad was fluent in Polish, English, and French and was conversational in Greek and German. He spent several years as a merchant marine for France and England.
He began his writing career in 1895 with Almayer’s Folly and wrote in a style of literary impressionism. His Heart of Darkness was adapted to screen several times over the 20th Century with the most famous being the Francis Ford Coppola film that almost killed him and some of his actors (wait until you hear about it!)
The story is about ferry boat sailor Charles Marlow who is on a mission to find Mr. Kurtz who has disappeared somewhere along the Congo (though the site is not mentioned in the book) and has become enmeshed in the world of the “natives.” In the end, Kurtz returns to the “civilized” world telling the late Kurtz’s finance he was thinking of her when he died. In reality, he said “the horror.”
The movie is set in Viet Nam late 1960s during the war with Martin Sheen as Captain Benjamin Willard who is set to look for the missing Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has hidden in Cambodia and is considered insane and dangerous. The film was famous for being over budget, stressful, and almost killed several people attached to the project.
So, between the original story and the 1979 adaptation--which did we prefer?
In this ep the Margos discuss:
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