Monday, November 24, 2008

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A fantastic, and fascinating, documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, which if you didn't know, had one of the the craziest, most tumultuous shoots ever. What really stands out about the movie, besides all the ridiculous anecdotes, is the figure it paints of Coppola. On the one hand, the admire the shit out of this guy for what he accomplishes, for seeing his out-there vision of this movie all the way through, and completing it despite all the shit he goes through, all the struggles, etc. On the other hand, you also see how his ambitions are fueled by an unbelievable sense of importance. In the beginning of the film, they show a clip from an interview where he says "This film isn't about Vietnam. It is Vietnam." That's pretty crazy, but the more of the documentary you see, you more it becomes clear that Coppola not only believed that his film accurately depicted exactly what fighting in Vietnam was like, but that the shooting of the film is somehow comparable to the war as well.

Gotta disagree. The shoot, while admittedly a fucking nightmare, was not so bad that one would understand what it meant to be a soldier in Vietnam. But tell that to Coppola, who seems to think that he somehow recreated and relived the Vietnam war. His ideas are so self-important that you almost get turned off the film... until you realize that, well, if he didn't honestly believe this crazy shit, he never would have made a film this good. Unless you hate Apocalypse Now, in which you're gonna think Coppola is the biggest shithead ever after watching this.

3 comments:

Shenan said...

I view Coppola kind of like I view Dennis Hopper's American journalist. He may be a little insane, and a lot histrionic, but he's so captivating because all this stuff that's coming out of his head is the absolute truth that he so fucking fanatically believes in, even if it's truth to no one but himself. That kind of passion for something's explosive and contagious. Dammit, it's signed in as you, so now I have to copy paste this and sign in as myself. Screw blogger.

Dan said...

If he didn't believe that he was making the greatest movie ever, then he wouldn't have made a movie this good. So I respect his insanity. It's just that I also think, as a human being, maybe he's kind of an asshole.

Shenan said...

most talented people are.