—01. Francis Ford Coppola.
Aptly titled, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse is culled from documentary footage shot on the set of Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppola’s wife, Eleanor. It shows the unraveling of the director due largely in part to his having to finance the film out of his own pocket, but also under the constraints of a civil war, a typhoon, Martin Sheen’s mid-shoot heart attack, endless studio gossip and Marlon Brando’s unwillingness to cooperate. In the documentary, released on Showtime in 1991, Coppola is constantly shown doubting himself and the artistic merit of a monstrous film, initially scheduled for a 14 week shoot that lasted in excess of 200 days. Tied together with audio clips of Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play of the source material, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, much of the insight provided by the director was recorded surreptitiously, providing an unrestrained commentary on the project. The documentary now serves as an indispensable companion piece to one of the most epic and artful films ever made about war, brutality, madness and futility, and stands alone as an incredible piece of filmmaking in its own right.