If you liked Hearts of Darkness, Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper‘s renowned 1991 documentary about the arduous making of Francis Coppola‘s Apocalypse Now, you may also have a place in your head for Coda: Thirty Years Later, an informal sequel to Hearts of Darkness that is “partially” about Coppola filming Youth Without Youth in Romania two years ago.
Peter Nellhaus‘s Green Cine Daily report on the doc, which Nellhaus saw Sunday night at Miami’s Colony theatre, has a lot of good reporting, including a remark that “much of the footage shown from Youth Without Youth is bathed in golden browns” and another that “visually, [Coppola’s] new film will remind some of the first two Godfather films.”
“The prime difference between Hearts of Darkness and Coda,” Nellhaus observes, “is that Apocalypse Now was filmed in desperate circumstances, while Coppola’s profitable wine business now allows for him to return to filmmaking on his own terms.”
In other words, the newer doc is going to be less interesting because it’s about filmmaking with a certain comfort factor, which means it obviously won’t have the grueling real-life drama that made Hearts of Darkness such a fascinating ride. Pressure and desperate circumstances are obviously difficult things to live through, but they pay off like a slot machine when they’re part of a documentary.