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This is a magnificent documentary detailing the making of the prestigious film during its prolonged shooting
This fascinating , acclaimed documentary deals with the making of Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece and is largely based on original stock footage filmed by his wife Eleanor , along with Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper who shot recent interviews with cast and crew members . Originally scheduled to be shot over six weeks , ended up taking 16 months , resulting in a Coppola's 40 million dollar great epic vision of the Vietnam war . In 2001 was realized a ¨redux¨ , a new reediting adding footage , the episode of the playmates and the French people encounters , where there's a lot of nudism . This new edition is today considered to be the official version . Considered by some to be the ultimate flick in its overall depiction of chaos , horror , and bloodletting , by others definitively overwrought and unrealistic . This was a splendid film with awe-inspiring battles , stunning photography , effective musical score and compelling montage . The original picture concerned the disillusioned Army captain Willard (Martin Sheen) who tells the story , he is assigned for a special mission : Kill renegade colonel Kurtz (an elephantine Marlon Brando) , American general highly decorated who the army officers believe has gone murderer and nut . His trip is punctuated by surrealist and weird battles and horrifying descent into a land where human rationality seems to have slipped away . Willard joins a misfit crew (Albert Hall , Sam Bottons , Frederic Forest, Larry Fishburne) making a risked and dangerous journey upriver towards Cambodia . Along the way they participate at a superbly coreographed attack by helicopters to the music of ¨Ride of Valkyrie¨ . They'll encounter a mad marine captain , fond of surf (Robert Duvall who gives 10 excellent minutes as a battle-obsessed Major) , as well as playboy bunnies and French military and a civil group (Christian Marquand and Aurore Clement) living lonely at a plantation since Dien Bien Phu defeat (1954) . The travel is dangerously developed until the fateful meeting with Kurtz . Marlon Brando/Colonel Kurtz and Captain Willard /Martin Sheen attempts to assassinate him form the hub of the tale . The perilous journey is narrated as a bizarre odyssey leading to the dreadful and terrible final but when the protagonists meet General Kurtz the scenarios are darkest and gloomiest . As Kurtz cannot be despatched by a weapon bullet , but he has to be hacked to pieces with a machete to symbolise the simultaneous slaughter of a sacrificial bull .
It is a stunning , riveting and absorbing documentary that is based on the known film that was inspired by Joseph Conrad's novella : ¨The heart of the darkness¨ and it goes on to be subject of debate . At once anecdotal and revealing , this top-notch picture shows the catastrophes that beset this particular project , and by way of comparison describes exactly what American film has foregone since the seventies . Both Martin Sheen and Coppola suffered emotional breakdown during the overlong shooting , as Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming and some shots of Willard's back are of doubles , including Sheen's brother Joe Estevez who was flown out specially . The documentary lists a catalogue of disasters : Sheen's stroke , problems with weather , including thunderous thypoons , and the Filipino goverment ruled by dictator Ferdinand Marcos who took the helicopters to wage war the communist guerrilla , massive over-expenditure , the upsettling actors , specially : Sam Bottoms and Dennis Hopper , spaced out whatever drugs were availble and an overweight Marlon Brando refusing to perform a fat role . Regarding the movie Coppola told the following : ¨It was a crazy , we had access to too much money and too much equipment , and little by little we went insane¨. This documentary is entirely in agreement with this verdict . There are several interviews to actors and crew , as Martin Sheen , Albert Hall , Dennis Hopper , Frederic Forest 15-year-old Larry Fishburne , Production designer Dean Tavoularis , producer Fred Roos , the great photographer Vittorio Storaro , and the screenwriter John Milius himself who explains the movie tackles issues of ethics and morality and the horror war . And cameraman Vittorio Storaro who carried out a spellbound and breathtaking cinematography , he won an Oscar , a very well deserved Academy Award . The movie in spite of the passed time is still powerful and astounding . The documentary was perfectly directed by Eleanor Coppola , pacing with great sensitivity and artistic ambition . Coppola's wife along with Fax Bahr and George Wickenlooper assembled from later interviews from some 60 hours of footage filmed on location in the Philippines , much of it by Eleanor .
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