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Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

Faz Bajr

A revealing documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, compiled from footage shot by Coppola’s wife during the troubled shoot and interviews conducted years later with members of the cast and crew. The monstrous production battles (filming halted for months by torrential rain) and their equally monstrous ironies (scenes halted in mid-shot when the Philippine army took back their helicopters to fight a real war) are all covered here, as are more familiar troubles such as Martin Sheen’s near-fatal heart attack and the agonising that surrounded Marlon Brando’s role. Hearts of Darkness provides one of the most extreme portraits of film-making as a life-or-death business. ‘The film is a twenty-million dollar disaster,’ says a desperate Coppola at one point. ‘I’m thinking of shooting myself.’

Dirs: Faz Bajr, George Hickenlooper.
U.S.A., 1991.
97 mins.

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