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Wes & Erin continue their discussion of “Apocalypse Now.” Wes apologizes for asking Erin to watch something so disturbing, and we further discuss dueling conceptions of the arts, one Platonic and the other Aristotelian.
We agree that “Apocalypse Now,” despite being challenging, is an aesthetic masterpiece. What about the narrative? Wes argues that it is very close to not having enough of an arc. What it does most successfully is to convey a kind of surreal, psychedelic mood, one that is meant to capture the insanity of the Vietnam War (and perhaps war in general), and so constitutes its critique.
We end by reminiscing about watching “Notting Hill” together. But we fail to talk about an obvious hypothetical, which is how Hugh Grant would play Kurtz. It’s one thing to have a poetry-spewing Brando put your head on a stake. But nothing could evoke a horror more pure than being subjected, in your final moments, to Hugh Grant’s pseudo-bumbling, self-effacing schtick, somehow performed so adorably as to win you over to the sad necessity of your own obliteration.
Next episodes: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” and then “The Wizard of Oz.”
Thanks to Nick Ketter for the audio editing on this episode.