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BTDesign Award
Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)

Cast: Francis Ford Coppola, Eleanor Coppola, Martin Sheen, Dennis Hopper, Marlon Brando, Laurence Fishburne, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Robert Duvall, George Lucas, John Milius

Director(s): Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper

Language: English

Genre: Documentary


An intimate look at the making of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 classic Apocalypse Now, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse combines the usual documentary interviews with outtakes from the film and rare documentary footage, some shot on the set by Eleanor Coppola. Not long after the arrival of Francis Ford Coppola and crew in the Philippines, the shooting schedule begins spiraling out of control; the film's cost has soon far surpassed the original budget, with the ending still unwritten. ... [Get complete synopsis]


motleymitch wrote on January 11, 2013, 12:07 am
What a great doc, but specifically if you're familiar with Apocalypse Now. I love that film and I've wanted to see this doc for a while now. Just great insight and behind-the-scenes footage of the making of Apocalypse Now and the crazy amount of obstacles that Coppola and his crew had to overcome in order to get this film made. Coppola funded it himself, mortgaging his house and his family's immediate future in the process, taking every conceivable risk and not knowing how or if the film would turn out. They went over budget, extended the shoot from a few months to almost an entire year, endured unpredictable weather in a film that was shot almost entirely outdoors in the Philippines, had to deal with the Filipino government while said government was dealing with Vietnamese rebels constantly threatening to invade, shot countless expensive scenes that had to be left on the cutting room floor, fired Harvey Keitel three weeks into the shoot and replaced him with Martin Sheen - then had to reshoot all THOSE scenes, had to deal with Sheen being out of the production for a month due to a heart attack, had to deal with an overweight, uncooperative Brando showing up without having read the script, the novel or any of his proposed lines, Coppola not having a real ending and having to cross his fingers and improvise with loose cannons Brando and Hopper, and just endless turmoil in every conceivable way. Brando was contracted for 3 weeks of shooting at a million per, given a million up front before arriving on set, and then seriously threatened to keep the million and not show at all. Actors showed up not having a schedule for the day, just being told that SOMETHING would be shot, Coppola himself not really knowing all the details. Yet somehow order came from chaos and this is true renegade filmmaking dedication and ingenuity/luck, patience and madness, going for broke , giving a shit while not giving a shit, keeping faith and losing hope, digging deep debt and just going with the flow of what each filming day may bring. A cool doc for anyone who's ever been in the film biz, or for those keen on seeing what could truly go wrong/right on any given production.

Jefferygn wrote on January 13, 2013, 6:39 pm
I'm surprised this was never previously posted.

Terrific movie, no doubt.

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