A writer is always waiting on someone or something. Right now I am waiting on an article to be published, an article to be accepted, and a book proposal to be approved. As well as waiting on books to arrive, e-mails to be answered, and a check to appear. Although Milton and Montaigne probably had great thoughts on waiting, I always liked the opening of Apocalypse Now . . . .
INT. SAIGON HOTEL – DAY
The CAMERA MOVES slowly across the room…and we SEE
WILLARD, a young army captain. He looks out the window to
the busy Saigon street.
WILLARD (V.O.) *
Saigon…shit. I’m only in Saigon.
Every time, I think I’m gonna wake
up back in the jungle.
He moves back to the bed, lies down. He’s unshaven,
exhausted, probably drunk. We SEE alcohol bottles, photos,
documents scattered on the table.
When I was home after my first
tour, it was worse. I’d wake up
and there’d be nothing. I hardly
said a word to my wife until I
said yes to a divorce. When I was
here, I wanted to be there. When
I was there…all I could think of
was getting back into the jungle.
I’m here a week now. Waiting for
a mission. Getting softer. Every
minute I stay in this room, I get
weaker. And every minute Charlie
squats in the bush…he gets
stronger. Each time I looked
around…the walls moved in a little
He’s up now, naked, going into a frenzy, drinking, doing
some sort of martial arts, eventually collapsing onto the
INT. SAIGON HOTEL – STAIRWAY – DAY
Two extremely sharp army men walk up the stairs to Willard’s
room, a SERGEANT and a PRIVATE.
Everyone gets everything he wants.
I wanted a mission. And for my
sins, they gave me one. Brought
it up to me like room service. . . . .
APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX
an original screenplay by
John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola
Narration written by Michael Herr