Column

A Voice in the Darkness

Apocalypse Now Redux
Produced by Producer Zoetrope Studios
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
Re-released by Miramax Films and United Artists

I was finishing the original draft of this column early on the morning of September 11 when I received the news. My wife called me from the grammar school where she teaches near our home on Long Island. "Something awful," she said quietly and then told me of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers. I rushed to the television and watched the video footage in cold dismay. Then reports of the assault on the Pentagon came in, followed by the collapse of the towers. I slumped on on sofa. Although my deadline was at hand, I found it impossible lo return to my keyboard. Reviewing movies seemed obscenely frivolous at the moment. I spent the rest of the day mesmerized by the television screen as events unfolded.

Most of the early images seemed to be shot at a distance of a quarter-mile or more with minimal or no audio recording. This made the events seem unreal—or, rather, surreal. It looked like something out of a bad disaster movie, something that could not be happening to the lobby in lower Manhattan I had walked through five days earlier, in a building where my nephew's fiancée was training for a new job, on a street less than half a mile from where...

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