At this point, you can roughly divide the output of Nicolas Cage into one of two categories. First, there are films so tailored to his reigning wild man of cinema persona that it seems unimaginable they could exist if he passed. In the other camp are the quieter efforts like The Weather Man, Joe, and Pig that remind of what a powerful actor he still can be. His latest project, writer-director Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Scenario, combines both approaches into a single offering. The result is a strange and wildly audacious work anchored by a surprisingly deft and low-key turn from Cage that stands in marked contrast to the weirdness surrounding him. Continue Reading →
Every month, we at The Spool select a filmmaker to explore in greater depth — their themes, their deeper concerns, how their works chart the history of cinema, and the filmmaker’s own biography. For April, we revisit both the game-changing hits and low point misses of Francis Ford Coppola. Read the rest of our coverage here.
Burrow into a man’s soul and see what you find. You may discover a darkness beyond comprehension or a light as bright as the flares that cut against the night sky. But if you mangle that soul in the throes of war, maim it through acts of killing, expose it to enough raw horror to blight mind and body, you can never really know. The parts of ourselves we hold dear become wrenched and twisted within that grim crucible, until they become unrecognizable.
That’s the overwhelming feeling that washes over you during Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola’s seminal 1979 masterpiece. Set during the Vietnam War, the film sees Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a U.S. Army assassin, dispatched to travel upriver into Cambodia and take out the infamous Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Kurtz is a decorated officer who’s gone rogue and cultivated a following all his own, one which strikes fear into the hearts of all sides of this conflict. In that framework, the movie peers into the souls of these two men and considers what, if anything, can be gleaned from their war-ravaged psyches. Continue Reading →