Monday, November 19, 2007

Hearts of Darkness on DVD

By way of Very Short List (a great daily email by the way), I see that Hearts of Darkness - A Filmmaker's Apocalypse--a documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now--is coming to DVD for the first time. I have an older laserdisc copy--yes, really, laserdisc. Today, Apocalypse Now is widely, though of course not universally, regarded as the best of the films about or set in the Vietnam War. However, for many years, films such as The Deer Hunter and Platoon were more highly regarded.

In any case, the film production, as documented in Hearts of Darkness, was a fiasco. To quote Very Short List:

Narrated by Coppola’s wife, Eleanor (who also shot the on-set footage), and directed by Fax Behr and George Hickenlooper, Hearts plays like a paint-by-numbers demonstration of how not to make a big film: The Apocalypse Now production is underfunded, the crew is overworked, and the script is unresolved. The actors are either too high (Dennis Hopper), too sick (Martin Sheen, who suffered a heart attack on the set), or too weird (Marlon Brando) to perform; meanwhile, monsoons destroy the sets.

It's a great documentary about the making of a classic film. Check it out.

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