365 films in 2016: film 19 (Hearts Of Darkness 1991)

960Anyone who’s ever tried to make a film knows it’s hard, and it’s frustrating when people assume it’s easy and say things like ‘you don’t have to do anything just sit in a chair and shout action and cut’ I remember Fincher said directing is like painting a picture except there’s 80 people holding the paintbrush for you and you’re 20 feet away shouting ‘make that tree greener, no greener… GREENER’ and I think that sums it up perfectly.

I don’t claim to have felt the same level of stress Coppola felt with Apocalypse Now with my experience directing a few crappy student films but boy do I understand his pain, Apocalypse Now is famous for its production problems (as I mentioned in my post a few days ago, which you can check out here) and it’s easy to forget what a monumental achievement it was that Apocalypse Now made it to theatres, Coppola’s career and home were riding on the success of this movie. Hearts Of Darkness is a documentary made by Coppola’s wife,Eleanor who filmed a lot of behind the scenes footage for Apocalypse Now and it’s really interesting to see what it was actually like, Coppola constantly mentions he feels like he’s actually at war and how he knows the film is going to be a flop and everyone’s gonna hate it so he should just quit while he can and save himself the embarrassment, he talks about how every director is scared of being labelled pretentious. A film aiming for greatness and failing in its attempt is his and every directors worst nightmare, it’s easy to see that Coppola was scared making the film, scared of making a bad movie, scared of losing his house and rendering his family homeless, scared of going insane and scared of failure.

There was so much riding on this film for him and everyone knew about it, what’s nice to see is how his family were fully aware at the risks to their lifestyle this film possessed but they were happy to support him. Hearts Of Darkness is an interesting look at how much effort was put into making Apocalypse Now, it’s fascinating to see how much Coppola believed in this ‘unmakeable’ project, to the point were if he failed he’d lose everything. Hearts Of Darkness is a 7/10.

In 2016 i will be watching 365 films (yes, i know there are 366 days this year) and writing about how I felt about them, I decided to do this just because over the last year or so i’ve Sort of pulled away from film and I wanna start to enjoy watching movies again. This will normally be just notes I made or thoughts I have about the film.


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