Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)

A fascinating documentary film on “Apocalypse Now” exploring how the film’s production mirrored its thematic concerns with madness, aimlessness, ambition, overreach, arrogance, and psychological descent. Coppola is very sincere throughout, with his 1990s interview portions often illuminating, and his 1970s production excerpts often depressing. It made for a very strong film, but the excess and…

Apocalypse Now (1979)

A haunting, hypnotic descent into the lunacy of a “civilised war”. Francis Ford Coppola didn’t seek to just retell the story of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, he sought to adapt it in the truest sense. To change the setting and story in such a way as to not just retell it, but comment on…

Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)

A captivating examination of the insanity and arrogance of the human desire to conquer. Delusions of grandeur is an understatement! Just as the characters descend further and further into the surreal madness emblematic of such endeavours, the viewer is subject to the bizarre meld between the impatience of the many banal moments, and the lunacy…

Heart of Darkness (1899)

An iconic, atmospheric, murky critique of colonialism, but also a fascinating rumination on how storytelling, framing, and contextualisation obscure the apparent chaos and savagery at the heart of humanity. It’s extremely impressive Joseph Conrad wrote something so awash in powerful imagery and evocative prose when English was his third language. His very deliberate, peculiar style…