Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
|Hearts of Darkness:
A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
Theatrical release poster
|Music by||Todd Boekelheide|
|Distributed by||Triton Pictures|
The title is derived from the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness, the source material for Apocalypse Now. Using behind-the-scenes footage, and narrated by Eleanor Coppola, the documentary chronicles how production problems—among them bad weather, actors' poor health, and other issues—delayed the film, increasing costs and nearly destroying the life and career of its director, her husband, Francis Ford Coppola. In 1990, Coppola turned her material over to two young filmmakers, George Hickenlooper and Fax Bahr (co-creator of MADtv), who subsequently shot new interviews with the original cast and crew, and intercut them with her existing material. After a year of editing, Hickenlooper, Bahr, and Coppola debuted their film at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival to universal critical acclaim.
Originally aired on the Showtime Network in the United States, Hearts of Darkness won several awards, among them the National Board of Review award for Best Documentary, 1991; an American Cinema Editors society award for Best Edited Documentary (1992); two Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awards for "Outstanding Individual Achievement – Informational Programming – Directing" and "Outstanding Individual Achievement – Informational Programming – Picture Editing" (1992), and the International Documentary Association award (1992).
Home video release
Hearts of Darkness was released by Paramount Home Video on VHS and LaserDisc in 1992, with further re-releases occurring in 1994 and 1998. Paramount later released the film on DVD on November 20, 2007. That version includes a commentary track from both Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola, recorded separately, and a bonus documentary entitled Coda, about Coppola's film Youth Without Youth.
A quote from the Coppola interview shown at the beginning of the film ("We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane") is sampled in UNKLE's song "UNKLE (Main Title Theme)", and also in the Cabaret Voltaire song "Project80" (as part of a larger sample from that interview).
Hearts of Dartmouth: Life of a Trailer Park Girl is a documentary about the making of the TV series Trailer Park Boys. It was directed and narrated by Annemarie Cassidy, then-wife of Trailer Park Boys director Mike Clattenburg.
An episode of the cartoon Animaniacs, "Hearts of Twilight", was a parody of the documentary. The TV comedy Community referenced the documentary in the episode "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux", in which two characters say "Hearts of Darkness is way better than Apocalypse Now."
On the DVD commentary of Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck reveal that Casey Affleck's line "I swallowed a bug" is a reference to Marlon Brando's line in the documentary. In the Joss Whedon film Serenity, River Tam has the same line.
The 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder parodies both Hearts of Darkness and Apocalypse Now.
Other documentaries about troubled movie productions:
- Burden of Dreams, about the making of Fitzcarraldo.
- Empire of Dreams, about the complicated production of Star Wars.
- Jodorowsky's Dune, about the troubled pre-production and unsuccessful adaptation of Frank Herbert's novel Dune.
- Lost Soul, about the making of the 1996 version of The Island of Dr. Moreau.
- Lost in La Mancha, about Terry Gilliam's unfinished film The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, a film adaptation of the novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
- "HEARTS OF DARKNESS". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved December 3, 2017
- "Festival de Cannes: Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- "Home Cinema @ The Digital Fix - Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (R1) in November". Dvdtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-07-08.
- "Apocalypse Now Blu-ray: Full Disclosure Edition". Blu-ray.com. Retrieved 2017-11-11.