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Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse

4 Ratings: 4.3
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Tags: Movies
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: January 1, 1991
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse

Wanna learn how to make a movie? It's easy! Just go insane and risk losing all your money!

  • Jun 13, 2009
When I talked about the Henry Rollin's book, Get in the Van in which Henry Rollins chronicles his pauper like life on the road while in the band Black Flag.  You'd think a rockstars life would be more glamorous, and you would have been wrong.  It was cruel and a hard life.

Now if anyone was getting into the entertainment business, that book and this documentary would be required watching.  If you don't get some kind of aprehention or concern about lying bruised and broke on the street somewhere, then I would love to see what you have in store for us all.

Everyone under the sun knows that Francis Ford Coppola made movie history with what is considered to be the best movies ever made, The Godfather and The Godfather part II.  His movie Apocalypse Now, set during the Vietnam War was a little more of a mixed bag but it's honestly one of my favorite movies.  When I first saw it I loved it and wanted to find out more about it.  What I learned was startling.  Not only did this movie make headlines, but the making of it was making news as it was made and the MAKING of the movie even has IT'S own movie!  What the hell did they do to make that thing?!

I found out right away is, go crazy.

The documentary which was put together by Coppola's wife Eleanor says that the movie was going to be a small film shot in Northern California by George Lucas.  George went on to do that Star Wars thing and Francis decided to make Apocalypse Now a big movie on location in the Phillipines.  He writes the movie as he goes since the original script Francis doesn't find interesting or unique anymore.  I'll sum the rest of the movie up real quick:  Many reposessed helicopters, a typhoon, more rewritting, destroyed sets, hocking assets, a near fatal heart attack and an uncooperative lead later the movie was done.  After a couple of years of editing, the movie got released.  The End.

I gave you vague outline of most of the issues that befell the crew but even if you have heard of these stories before, don't let that stop you from seeing the movie.  Theres a lot more to see from deleted scenes of footage and dialogue (some which has made it into the new Redux version of Apocalypse Now.) how scenes were put together with some of the actors, rehearsals and even and recorded phone calls that Francis has with agents.  Francis's reaction to the heart attack over the phone is probably the best part of the documentary.

It's amazing that Francis Ford Coppolla could even still make movies after the calamtiy he endured during filming.  Even listening to him on the commentary track and having a non chalant atittude over the whole thing is amazing even to joke at the documentarys start that he likes to refer to this as "Lets watch Francis suffer for 2 hours."  I can say without sounding like a ghoul, that watching that man suffer made for a great experience.
Newspaper clipping of Coppolas assets Coppola tries to direct Brando while on set Destruction of the Kurtz Compund Coppola with tribal leaders

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June 13, 2009
Thank you both. It's great when a documentary can be this entertaining.
June 13, 2009
Wow, I didn't know Apocalypse Now had so much drama behind it.  Great review!  This is very interesting.
June 13, 2009
I remember having seen this quite a while ago, probably around the time it was first released. It was an interesting documentary and you do it justice.
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