Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)

The second documentary during the DailyView is a partner to Apocalypse Now, which I watched earlier this morning. It is the Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, and Eleanor Coppola directed documentary dealing with the creation of Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse tells the story of the difficult process of making Apocalypse Now, which suffered from script difficulties, weather challenges, Marlon Brando, and Francis Ford Coppola’s self-doubt and insecurities.

The documentary included footage and sound secretly recorded by Coppola’s wife, Eleanor during the filming of Apocalypse Now.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the documentary was it truly showed how Francis Ford Coppola was dealing with the constant issues in much the same way as the characters of Apocalypse Now were dealing with their struggles. There are times when, in his own words, you can hear Coppola taking his stress and frustrations to levels unimaginable. It is ironic that a movie about characters dealing with situations that could drive them insane seemed to be doing that very thing to the director as well.

The words of Coppola when he found out about the heart attack suffered by leading man Martin Sheen were shockingly cold. I am sure that he did not mean it the way it comes across, but you can hear that he has been pushed past a certain point.

This does a monumental job of giving us the behind the scenes details that only serve to enrich the success of the final product. It is amazing that the movie is able to be completed considering the amount of distractions and hurdles that the production had to handle.

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