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on 14 July 2017
If you only read two books on the epic that is Apocalypse Now - Make this one & 'Notes' by Elanor Coppola the other - both amazing reads!!
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on 3 July 2002
Apocalypse Now has one of the most fascinating behind-the-scenes- stories of any film-the legendary shoot in the Philipines that almost cost Coppola his marriage, house and sanity, and almost cost Martin Sheen his life when he suffered a near-fatal heart attack during shooting. Coppola himself is one of the most interesting and influential film-makers of all time, and Apocalypse Now's creation has been well-documented in primary material (Eleanor Coppola's note, and Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse). Given all this, it would be hard to write a dull book about Apocalypse Now, especially when the origins of the script (Conrad, Milius, Herr and Coppola combined) and the famous 'missing scenes' which are now restored are discussed as well.
Peter Cowie had access to archive material and interviews with Coppola and members of cast and crew. For readers, this is a mixed blessing. Obviously it can provide some great insights into the film, but equally obviously, Coppola was only going to give this access to a sympathetic writer. Cowie is a little too reverential for my taste--you feel he's too close to the crew to stand back and give a critical judgement. Perhaps this is an unfair criticism, but his style is just too American for me. Despite this, the book is a valuable companion to the movie--just don't expect writing that can match the film, or any facts you haven't read around in articles the time of the Redux version's release.
Ultimatly, if you love the film, you'll like the book. I'm glad I own it, but it is only a minor enhancement to the pleasure of viewing the film itself, and that's as it should be. One final gripe--more pictures, and in colour, would improve it no end. Probably one for real fans only
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on 20 January 2017
Another great book from the same author of the Godfather book as with that book this book is also great and just as insightful.
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