Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse Reviews

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July 24, 2017
The ultimate descent of both Coppola's madness and claustrophobic darknesss of failure is captured with a such brutality and eye opening fashion. The following of every single mistake the film falls into, makes for an engaging documentary not only on the filmmaking context of writer, director, actor and producer but the personal struggles it causes on the psychological and physical side. The raw emotion and fatigue of Francis Ford Coppola is incredibly brutal and haunting, his journey into the dark and ultimately his difficulty at even talking about the the process of making the film is clear and extraordinary, but it's his words that are clear and poignant. I'd just wish that the film would've gone on for longer and had more interviews.
½ May 11, 2017
Apocalypse Now is one of my favourite movies of all time, and anyone who's even heard of it know of the notorious difficulties the production faced. Hearts Of Darkness gives us an insightful and fascinating look at not only the problems themselves, but the effects they had on the cast, crew, the movie and Francis Ford Coppola himself. In candid interviews and behind the scenes footage, we witness a man so driven by his artistic aspirations and the fear of failure that he goes, in his own words, insane. With typhoons destroying expensive sets, actors having heart attacks and even an encroaching civil war threatening to torpedo the whole enterprise, Coppola finds himself faced with professional ruin and financial destitution if he can't pull together and complete the picture. It's interesting that the documentary itself can be considered a metaphor for the war the film it dissects is based on. With hundreds of people plunged deep into the jungle with no real idea what to expect or what they're going to achieve, driven gradually into insanity by the constant chaos surrounding them. With a unique look at the production, the actors and the hardships faced, Hearts Of Darkness is a top-notch documentary. It may be a bleak-as-all-Hell look at the art of filmmaking, a story of how, in order to create something grand, one must be willing to sacrifice a little part of themselves, but it's essential viewing for fans of not only Apocalypse Now but for anyone interested in the art of filmmaking, presented here in all its wild, ugly glory.
½ April 27, 2017
Fairly interesting look at the making of 'Apocalypse Now' although if like me you've read Biskind's excellent book 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls' you're not going to be learning anything new. If you haven't though well this is a fairly unparalleled look into the insanity surrounding the making of this film. Yes Sheen really did have a heart attack, yes most of the cast were basically off their heads the entire time, yes Marlon Brando basically just did whatever he wanted and yes Coppola himself was almost maniacal in his dedication to the film and to the idea of American Zoetrope. One for the cinephile.
March 24, 2017
A hero's journey into descent. Magnificent.
July 8, 2016
A masterpiece of its own, must be seen to further your knowledge and understanding of the movie and deep meanings hidden in it. It's a sad fact that they don't film like that anymore.
May 21, 2016
No where near the insight or detail I would want. For example at the very start of the film the sacking of Lead Keitel is just breezed past with a couple of sentences.
January 27, 2016
One of the best films about the making of films I have ever seen. In some ways it may be better than Apocalypse Now itself - which you should probably watch first, or else this film won't mean as much to you. Thank goodness Eleanor Coppola had the sense to make and keep hold of the tapes and footage which form the core of this fascinating documentary. I'm not sure there's much more I can say about it. Just a brilliant documentary for anyone who's interested in films and the obsessive instincts that lead someone to try and create something as insanely ambitious as Apocalypse Now.
December 15, 2015
This is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at the making of Francis Ford Coppala's masterpiece, APOCALYPSE NOW. This documentary combines interviews with footage shot on location in the Philippines by Eleanor Coppola. This is certainly a must-see for anyone with the slightest interest in how Hollywood movies are made. This is a unique and privileged look inside one of the greatest films ever made.
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2015
Four stars is a little bit generous for "Hearts of Darkness" though it is a good documentary. It lacks something, and if I have to guess then I would say it is pacing. The film goes on for a time and then ends. Still, it has good footage and one gets to watch the director face problem after problem yet pull through. Definitely give it a view if you are a fan of Apocalypse Now.
September 14, 2015
The characters behind the movie turn out to be as compelling, if not more so, as the characters in it.
August 3, 2015
Great documentary that does what any good documentary should: document its subject in depth and a way nothing else has. A great portrait of Coppola more than anything, and so revealing on just how off-the-cuff this multi million dollar well laid out project that lasted for over a year really was.
½ May 9, 2015
A very interesting look at the true madness in the creation of the film, giving a sense on how real this all really was.
April 24, 2015
A great view upon the struggle to getting the endless long production of Apocalypse Now done. A hail Coppola.
April 1, 2015
What a great companion peace to Apocalypse Now.
March 7, 2015
Powerful, thought-provoking and edgy. Heart of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse shows the darker sides of film making and proves that we don't always accept the struggle and personal journey that every director goes through when tasked with creating entire worlds on film.
February 2, 2015
If you like Apocalypse Now, and are a fan of the film-making process than this is a great piece.
½ January 30, 2015
All the more amazing for the fact that it's real. Full review later.
½ January 25, 2015
I just saw Apocalypse Now for the first time a week ago, so it's still completely fresh in my mind. Needless to say, when I heard about this documentary, I had to get my hands on it ASAP. It was totally worth it, because this is a fascinating, in-depth look at the production of the film, highlighting the many problems along the way. I was blown away by a lot of the things I learned from this documentary. It's extremely detailed and personal, showing Coppola teetering on the brink of insanity while trying to bring the film to life. After hearing all these issues, I have an even bigger appreciation for Apocalypse Now. If you are a fan of the film, this is a MUST see.
½ January 1, 2015
Review In A Nutshell:

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse is a crowning achievement of what making-of documentaries should strive for. It is a film that manages to seep into the deepest depths of a filmmaker's journey whilst also managing to inform the audience of factual and measurable elements throughout Apocalypse Now's production; blending both the subjective and objective. It was also wonderful for the film to incorporate not just the screenplay and directorial elements of the film, but also of the environment around them; the country itself and the relationship that the film had with it, exploring its ups and downs. Seeing parts of my native country being blown and destroyed for the price of beautiful art was both painful and rewarding, leaving me in a dual state of happiness and guilt. Hearts of Darkness proves that exploring the making of a film is just as rewarding and as valuable as the film itself; elevating one's perspective of the film being explored, appreciating more the efforts that were put behind it; and this film manages to achieve this in a little over an hour and a half.
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