RE: Re: RARA-AVIS: Coppola (was Conrad/Hemingway)

Date: 03 Mar 2000

Steve writes,
> With all the problems making that film, the major fault was that they
> shot the Brando ending FIRST, than made the rest of the film. When they
> tried to put it together the ending related to the movie they were going
> to make at the outset, not the film as it grew over the year or so
> during which they shot it. And they couldn't get Brando to come back to
> re-shoot the ending.

Respectfully, many would argue that the major fault was including Brando at all. The last part of the film is sluggish, self-referential posturing because (a) Brando took over aspects of script and selection of rushes (b) Brando was so huge he couldn't be made to look like a general in the field (c) Brando didn't give them a choice as to when to employ him and for how long and (d) Brando hadn't read Heart of Darkness before he came. This is not to declare the director innocent of transgressions against his art either. The documentary Hearts of Darkness shows the process.

Enough--also see it as a flawed masterpiece--if you want to read a more extensive account of the process, check my article in the 3rd Norton Critical edition of Heart of Darkness.

Bill Hagen

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