Blog Prompt #4 (2/20/18)

The first step in completing the fourth blog posts will be to hone your ability to analyze a montage.

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Choose a montage from Apocalypse Now and do your best to describe the scene such that it can be found. (If you can find a link online, include it.) Describe what role the montage fulfills in moving along the action of the movie (or not), and its significance on the overall movie, its theme, its message, its symbolism, etc. (I suggest that you avoid the trap of choosing the obvious scenes, but if you do, be certain to avoid simply restating what others have already said.)

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Find a montage scene from another movie not discussed here or in class. Copy and past the URL here and discuss its significance on the overall movie, its theme, it message, its symbolism, etc.

10 comments for “Blog Prompt #4 (2/20/18)

  1. Glenn Walters
    February 16, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    The opening scene shows fire-bombs dropping and a loud helicopter can be heard however: the shot remains focused on the main character. The meaning of this montage is show the chaos in the main characters mind. His inner turmoil and problems are evident in the first scene. This point is solidified when the officers that come to get him ask him if everythings alright which can be seen as mental and physical question.

    My movie is The Avengers . The montage occurs when Tony Stark goes into the black hole and risks his life to save the world. The scene shows everyone relieved that the world is saved yet saddened at the cost all while Tonys life is flashing before his eyes. The significance of the scene was to show Tony being selfless which he never does. This shows that Tony has changed and become the person who can and will put his life on the line for others. The scene shows the overall change and demeanor that has occurred throughout the film,

  2. Lilly Lightsey
    February 17, 2018 at 11:16 am One of the final scenes of Apocalypse Now is an example of a montage. Fast pace music plays as Captain Willard sneaks in to kill Colonel Kurtz. This scene plays at the same time as the people of the village Kurtz rules over murder a cow. The music never stops playing as the scene flashes back and forth between Willard killing Kurtz and the cow being killed. Between swings of Willard’s weapon, the scene cuts back to that of the cow being killed in a similar fashion. After a few hits of the cow it goes back to Kurtz and Willard and back again. As we watch Kurtz fall to the ground, we also see the cow fall to the ground. Both Kurtz and the cow are murdered in a similar fashion of being repeatedly hit again and again until they both fall to the ground covered in their own blood. The killing of the cow is done in some kind of ritual in this village, that is obvious by the way the cow is decorated and how the people are crowded around watching it. It could be seen as a sacrifice to a higher power. This is important since it occurs at the same time Kurtz is being murdered. It plays on this idea that Kurtz death is a sacrifice or a ritual. Just before he goes to kill him, Willard says that even the jungle wanted Kurtz dead and the jungle is the only one Kurtz would listen too. Willard is pushing the blame off himself for murdering this man by saying the jungle, or a higher power, wanted it. This idea is matched by the scene of Kurtz’s murder occurring at the same time as the cow being killed at the same time as Kurtz in some kind of ritual. You could also look at it as Kurtz has become nothing more than an animal waiting for slaughter. He could not go home and he knew the army would just keep sending people to kill him. Just as the cow was always going to be slaughtered, Kurtz knew death would come to him eventually. This montage comes from the movie Up. In this four-minute montage we see the life of Carl, one of the main characters of the movie, and his wife Ellie from the time they get married until Ellie passes away. The montage touches on some key points of their life, their wedding, buying and repairing a house, trying to have a baby, planning an adventure together and then all that goes wrong to stop them from being able to, until they are old and Ellie has become weak and passes away. This montage is important because it is the driving force for the whole movie. Ellie is Carl’s whole life and it was their dream to go on an adventure together. Ellie’s passing before they can, is what causes Carl to become the cranky old shut in he is in the movie. It gives us an understand of where Carl is coming from without taking a lot of movie time to explain it. It is also important because it shows a lot about Carl’s character. He stayed happy through all the other bad things that happened in his life because he had Ellie. It did not matter to him if he could not have a baby or if they had to push off their dream trip for a while, as long as he had Ellie. It is only when Ellie passes that he becomes a shut in. The colors of the montage also show this. The two sad points are the only time there is really no color to the montage. When they find out they cannot have a baby, the colors on screen are black and gray, the only color being Ellie and Carl’s hair. This is contrasted against the bright nursery they are painting in the scene before that. And then when Ellie passes away the colors go away again. Carl sits in the dark church where they got married and then walks into his house in the dark, the houses colors faded by time. Ellie was the light of his life and when bad things happened to her, when her dreams got crushed or she passed away, the light went away.

  3. February 20, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    At the very beginning of Apocalypse Now, there is a montage showing bombings in Vietnam and Ben Willard is shown in his bed with a deep concentrated facial expression. Since this short three-minute montage just shows clips of the bombing and Ben, I made some accusations to better understand what it may mean. This montage starts off the film and instantly creates a mood of tension and violence as you see smoke and flames fill the air. It appears Captain Willard is having flashbacks to the war while being in the jungle as he lies in bed. The audience prepares themselves for what is to come, that being a gruesome and bloody war. The significance behind this displays how the captain will fight until death to achieve his mission, no matter how delirious it may make him. It creates a theme of determination to achieve the impossible. The song playing in the background as the film goes along is called “The End.” This is symbolic of “fighting until the end”, because you do not stop at anything in the war.  

    In the Romantic Comedy Legally Blonde there is a montage showing the progression of Elle Woods perfecting her intellectual capabilities as she is in Harvard Law School. Each clip that it progresses through shows Elle becoming more involved in class discussions, studying harder, and integrating what she has learned to better herself academically. This montage is very similar to the montage in Apocalypse now regarding being determined. Elle’s determination is what gets her through law school. She proves to herself and others that she has intellectual power despite being feminine and a beautiful “blonde.” It creates a message to the audience that you can be whomever you desire to be if you put in the work to do so. The song playing in the background contains lyrics of “not giving up til’ I end up on top” which is symbolic of her determination for the entire movie.

  4. Anthony Hanks
    February 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    The helicopter attack scene is an example of a montage. It is chaotic, loud, and drawn out for almost 5 minutes. This scene shows the chaos and lack of organization that came with the Vietnam War. It shows the way different people handle a hostile situation, and it is also a great example of how people have to learn to cope with the environment in which they are placed in. Some of the soldiers were cam as can be, talking about surfing, and looking at the rough waves that would be awesome to surf, while others had a death grip on their weapons like it was the end of the world as they know it. I think this scene shows the vast difference in the minds of the soldiers and their perspective of the Vietnam War, and as for the entire movie itself I feel like this scene shows how no one person actually knew what they were getting into even though they were told the mission. Nothing is as simple as it seems. The last battle scene in the movie The Patriot is in my opinion a montage that lasts for four minutes, and shows the glorious triumph during the Revolutionary War. This scene shows that all the heartache and death that is shown in the movie becomes worthy of the final cause, and the men in this scene fighting give it all they have and show that what they are fighting for is something that means a great deal to them and is completely necessary.

  5. Kymberly Conaway
    February 20, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    At the beginning of Apocalypse Now, there is a montage depicting fiery explosions in the distance, helicopters, and the main character laying down with a deeply pensive look on his face. Since the first scene focuses on this one person, I assumed that he is the main character of the film. The explosions seemed to be in the distance and the helicopter was a little faint so I concluded that he was having a flashback to a traumatic time in his life. The background music helped me infer the underlying message of the movie. The song is called ‘The End’ which implied that the main character was going to fight until the end.


    My other movie montage is from Easy A. The montage occurs when Olive’s best friend tells her about the gossip going around about her new reputation as a “skank”. Olive is thrown into a fit of rage and teenage angst over the news. Alike all teenage female when faced with a crisis, Olive decides to do a complete makeover to fit her new reputation. This scene sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Later in another montage, you see Olive embracing the new reputation at school. The background music for this montage is “Bad Reputation” by The Dollyrots. This music perfectly describes the mood and message throughout most of the movie.


  6. Michael Anzalone
    February 20, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    The Ride of the Valkyries scene in Apocalypse Now is a classic example of a montage. This is the first “war scene” in the film and presents the viewer with multiple angles of the helicopter strike while Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries music holds each cut of the montage together. From in the plane, the music can convey a sense of patriotism from the American side. When the shot switches to the ground where the Vietnamese are beginning to run, hide, and escape, the music coming in can be viewed in a fearful tone. The cuts switch between aerial shots of the helicopters and ground shots of the Vietnamese being obliterated by the airstrikes. The montage provides an interesting juxtaposition of how the attack is being experienced between the Americans and the Vietnamese.

    One of my favorite scenes is a montage from Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. In this sprawling 16-minute montage, nearly 14 billion years of events in the universe is depicted. The visual shots begin with the Big Bang, followed by the creation of stars, galaxies, and nebulas. The beginning universe-building shots are tied together by an opera track, and the shots then depict the early stages of Earth and the start of multicellular life, eventually culminating in a final shot of one dinosaur sparing another of death. I feel that this scene is used in the film to symbolize how far the universe has come and led to the development of empathy within living organisms. The rest of the film focuses on familial conflict–specifically on human emotion and the struggle to cope with loss. I believe that the montage was made by Malick to symbolize how important love and compassion is within people’s lives and the broad scope of all that occurred in the Universe beforehand to signify how important these intangible experiences and emotions are to us.

  7. Cecil Maddox
    February 20, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Arguably, one of the best montage scenes in the classic war movie Apocalypse Now is the violent murder of Colonel Kurtz by Captain Willard. The full scene includes a music background, as well as some lines by the actors in the parts of the scene that portray the murder. The intense music undeniably ties the two vivid scenes used (the slaughtering of the bull and the murder of the Colonel), bringing a certain level of drama and finality. One theme of the movie certainly seems to be necessary evil and whether or not the murder of the Colonel is one. The slaughtering of the bull by the native Vietnamese during a religious ceremony is perhaps a necessary evil, to them. As Colonel Kurtz has evidently lost his sanity and is harming others in a way that even the United States military circa Vietnam war era would not approve of, Captain Willard is ordered to assassinate him before he can do any more harm. The end of the scene shows a slain Colonel Kurtz using his final breath to murmur “the horror.” This line reveals the truth: that being in the midst of war and the horrors he witnessed drove him mad. In turn, Captain Willard experiences his own true horror- becoming a murderer.

    The Lord of the Rings trilogy is a prime example of 557 minutes of cinematic masterpiece. The series opener, The Fellowship of the Ring, is set into motion by a montage- an epic tale of deceit, war, and lust for power. Accompanied by the distinct melancholy trilogy theme, a female voice over accounts the legend of Lord Sauron, creator of the twenty rings of power, and the human and elven led battle that ended in his demise. Some of the great motifs of the movie are introduced in this first scene, particularly, the thirst for power of human men. We see Isildur take up his father’s broken sword and thwart the greatest evil known to this world. Then, we see the apparent hero absorb all that Sauron poured into the ring: “his cruelty, his malice, and his will to dominate all life.”

  8. February 20, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    Near the end of Apocalypse Now, there is a montage where Captain Willard sneaks in to kill Colonel Kurtz. This scene is about one minute and fourty four seconds long. Simultaneously as Captain Willard goes to kill Colonel Kurtz, a cow is killed in some sacrificial type of death. The colonel and the cow are both killed with swords, being chopped repeatedly behind the head. During this scene there is an upbeat music playing and it intensifies. The music even has an accent when the sword is suppose to be hitting its target. Being that the cow is wearing some accessory and there is a crowd, leads me to believe it is more than just an ordinary butcher. Captain Willard in a prior scene, asks himself if they would want the Colonel killed if they could only see what he saw. Captain senses that the Colonel knows he is there to kill him. The captain realizes the Colonel wants a honorable, military style death. At the end of the scene as the back light behind Captain Willard’s fades, it appears that he even wore camouflage paint on his face. The way he was killed, and the cow being pictured in the montage, symbolizes they were not just ordinary deaths, but that they had some meaning behind them. As the songs ends, so does the scene, but the last things you can hear are crickets and the words (the horror) whispered from Captain Willard.

    In the movie Forest Gump, there are a few montages of Forest running Early in the movie when Forest and his friend Jenny are out for a walk, Forest starts to get bullied by three boys. Jenny tells Forest to run, and he slowly runs with braces on his legs. The montage slows down to slow motion as it shows Forest running out of his leg braces. As the leg braces brake away, the films speeds up and Forest is now running full speed. Forest runs away from the bullies and all the way across town. Later in the film, Forest gets up off of his porch in nice clothes and clean cut and start running. By the end of the montage, Forest is dirty, sweaty, has long hair and a full beard. Forest has ran all the way across the country, only stopping to sleep or use the restroom.

  9. Shemar Muirhead
    February 20, 2018 at 11:58 pm

    The montage of the Horror scene of Apocalypse Now is the montage I will be discussing. This scene is where Capt. Willard slays Kurtz with a cutlass simultaneously as the jungle folk slaughter a cow. In this montage the death of Kurtz is emphasized as the scene fluctuates between images of Capt. Willard slashing at the defenseless Kurtz to the jungle folk chopping down the sizeable cow. This montage is used to extend the duration of Capt. Willard”s heroics while at the same time heightening the audience emotions toward the individual images. This may be ho highlight the themes of determination and endurance that have been portrayed throughout the film as Capt. Willard has overcome multiple obstacles to find Kurtz yet alone accomplishing his classified mission of “exterminating” him. This montage also symbolizes a new peaceful era for the jungle folk as Kurtz’s death will result in leaving them unbothered by the Vietnamese War as they are all the way in the jungle of Cambodia. The slaughtering of the cow within the montage is further proof that the jungle folk are well capable of sustaining their own culture without outside intervention or influence.
    The montage scene approximately 12 minutes into the film Seven Pounds starred and co-produced by Will Smith as Ben Thomas is sensational. This is the scene where Ben calls up a complete stranger to him known as Ezra and basically teases and bullies him on the phone over his blindness. The scene switches from Ben’s tormentous taunts towards Ezra’s disability to see, to Ezra’s calm, unscathed persona who responds to Ben in a professional, tolerable manner. This scene is significant to the film because it shows Ben’s utmost best effort to irritate Ezra in an effort to check his personality to determine whether or not he is a good man deserving of the blessing of his eyes. This scene emphasizes a theme of altruism that is depicted all throughout this film as Ben goes around looking for seven candidates to donate seven organs to as he plans to commit suicide thus the title of the film.

  10. Patrick Copeland
    February 22, 2018 at 9:28 am

    In the scene where all the troops are flying in the helicopters is what I consider a montage. The music gets turned on and the movie shows the different scenes of all the attack helicopters destroying a Vietnamese town and the troops it contained. This shows the destruction of the Vietnam war and how we, the Americans, did whatever we could to gain victory. Unfortunately, this scene also showed how the war affected the United States soldiers; when the helicopter is blown up after trying to get the wounded and some civilians out of the chaos, it represents how hard the war was for the Americans being in a foreign land fighting a new enemy.
    The disney movie, Mulan, contains a training montage showing the progression of the warriors as they get ready for battle. Mulan makes a lot of mistakes at the start of her training but, she starts the serious training off when she retrieves the arrow at the top of the pole. This is significant because it shows how she progressed in the times of war and how determined she was for her country to win and also that she wanted to return back to her family.

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