Top 100: Blade Runner (The Director's Cut) and Apocalypse Now (Redux)

38. Blade Runner (The Director's Cut) (1982)

So I'm going to discuss the two most literary movies on the Top 100. The first of these is Blade Runner, specifically the director's cut. I'm not always sure how much I really like the look and the cinematography of this movie, but I love the story and general ambiance. But where Blade Runner shines is as a sort of work of literature. This is a movie which to watch is almost like reading a book. There's some almost heavy handed symbolism here, dense intertextuality with new movies and old genres. Even so Blade Runner is a very original film, one the likes of which we aren't likely to see again soon. Or ever. That's not necessarily because of how slick or cool it looks, it's because it leaves you wondering what was meant by images which seem so obvious.


8. Apocalypse Now (Redux) (1979)

Watching Apocalypse Now (Redux), however, does come off as more of a great work of literature than almost any other movie. Like Blade Runner a lot of that has to do with it's heavy handed symbolism and its rich metaphors. But Apocalypse Now also has the benefit of its storyline which is very literary. The beats and the pacing of almost every scene is reminiscent of great works of literature. Apocalypse Now has an almost Shakespearean act structure, it has an arc like one of Plato's dialogues. These features are particularly evident in the director's cut as well. The film takes longer to play out, but it gains a high degree of structure. Furthermore, the Redux cut with it's deep, historical view, takes pretty seriously the idea that this movie isn't about Vietnam, it is Vietnam.