Heart of Coppola

This video, created by Brian Carroll, is a mix of Orson Welles’ reading of Heart of Darkness, Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness) and the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (shot by Francis’ wife Eleanor Coppola).

Joseph Conrad’s story is about a boat captain named Marlow who travels along a river deep into “the heart of an immense darkness” in order to find a man named Kurtz. One of the many themes of Heart of Darkness is the idea that a person can lose their mind the further they travel away from civilization into the unknown.

This theme is paralleled in Apocalypse Now and by Coppola’s own journey in completing his most personal film. The documentary, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse is a compilation of Eleanor Coppola’s interviews, on-the-set footage and secret audio recordings of her husband at his most exposed moments. Coppola’s many struggles included an unfinished script, Marlon Brando showing up overweight, typhoons destroying entire sets and Martin Sheen having a heart attack during production.