Thursday, May 21, 2009

CT scan and diversions

Who doesn't love a CT scan with contrast? Me. The CT scan itself isn't so bad these days because I don't have to drink the yucky weirdly sweet orange drink..Instead, I have to drink 500mL an hour before the scan and then another 500mL half an hour before the scan. That's not so bad.

The scan itself takes less than 10 minutes - 5 minutes or so for each scan before and after the contrast is injected. That's not so bad, either. What I I don't like is the contrast, because it makes me feel hot and like I've peed myself, so I end up frantically trying NOT to pee.... while also holding my breath and lying completely still. It's as awesome as it sounds.

The scan covered my chest, abdomen, and pelvis. The last CT scan of my pelvis showed that there were two tiny spots in there; we'll see if those are still there and what size they are. This scan will also be checking my lungs and liver. Because my tumour markers were low, I don't expect that my cancer has taken up residence anywhere new but until I get the results I expect to be a little anxious. I'll call my oncologist for the results next Thursday.

To take my mind off of the scan, I spent the last two days watching Apocalypse Now and Apocalypse Now: Redux and comparing the two. Redux was a 2001 re-edit of the original 1979 film. The plot of both is loosely based on Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, where a man goes up upriver - into the heart of darkness, as it were - to retrieve Kurtz, an insane man with a reputation.

I love the movie. It's creepy and surreal and honest and just draws me in. I'm the first to admit that it can be slow in parts but the pace is part of the buildup towards the end. Both versions are good movies but I think that Redux (minus the French plantation scene) is overall the better movie. The scenes that were added and the edits that were made definitely improved the movie. These changes improved the flow of the movie and also explained some of the events that happened: for example, how Lance got the surf shorts and later, the makeup.

About the French plantation scene - I didn't like it. Sure, it explains where Clean is buried, but it goes on.... and on... and on... and in doing so interrupts the buildup of tension in the movie. As Captain Willard and the boat crew go up the river, they change. They become less civilized; they also become more introspective and in touch with themselves. So all of that is happening ... and then everything pauses for the French plantation scene with Willard only... and then it kind of starts up again. Sure, we find out that Willard belongs in the jungle, but we should know that by now anyway. And Willard isn't the only one changing; everyone on the boat is changing as they travel up-river, one way or another.

Apparently there are even longer bootleg versions of the movie out there... I'd love to see those, too. I was doing a bit of research and apparently filming the original movie was a kind of rite of passage, or descent into hell, for the director Francis Ford Coppola. There were set problems, actor problems, breakdowns... everything. There's a documentary out there about the making of the movie and I think that I'd love to see that, too.

If you've seen Apocalypse Now but not the Apocalypse Now: Redux, then you should see the Redux version. It makes more sense and it's a much better movie (even though it is longer). If you haven't seen either, then you it's about time you saw Redux. It's too good of a classic movie to miss.

No comments: