Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The Tacoma Film Club theme for this month will be “the quest to find fugitives–and the
price paid for succeeding in the search.”
Foggy January is ready to depart as we settle into our new home at CSL. Be sure to get out to a local South Sound theater and see ZERO DARK THIRTY, nominated for several Oscars and is our February theatrical pick. Then come and join us this Friday, February 1, 2013 as we screen the magnificent film, APOCALYPSE NOW (1979). It was directed by legendary helmsman Francis Ford Coppola, who is considered to be both one of the best directors of all time, and “one of America’s most erratic, energetic, and controversial filmmakers.”
Coppola loves to use his family in his films; helped launch the careers of his sister, Talia Shire, and nephew, Nicolas Cage. His children, Sofia & Roman have followed him into the movie business. He had polio as a child. He owns a winery in California, making
Rubicon wine, and is co-owner, along with Robert De Niro & Robin Williams, of the Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco. He was actively working on a draft of GODFATHER IV with Mario Puzo, but when Puzo died, the project was abandoned.
Coppola has produced 73 films, and has written, or co-written all of the scripts for the 34 films he directed; like FINIAN’S RAINBOW (1968), THE GODFATHER (1972), THE CONVERSATION (1974), THE GODFATHER II (1974), THE COTTON CLUB (1984), TUCKER (1988) THE GODFATHER III (1990), & DRACULA (1992).
Coppola once said, “I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made films were magicians.”
Trivia: Steve McQueen was the first star to turn down the part of Capt. Willard. While feuding with Brando, Coppola approached Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, and Al Pacino–and they all turned him down. Harvey Keitel was hired to play Willard, but after two weeks of filming, the director replaced him with Martin Sheen–I would love to see those out-takes. Brando showed up on the set, had gained 50 pounds, had not read HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad, did not know his lines, rejected the Coppola script, and asked for cue cards. He had been given a million dollars up front.
Coppola spent several days, while the crew waited, reading Conrad’s book out loud to Brando. Brando decided to improvise his lines. Coppola let his assistant director helm those scenes. George Lucas was supposed to direct the film from a John Milius script, but then Lucas got involved in STAR WARS, and Milius did not want to direct, so in stepped Coppola. The naval boat’s name, Erebus, refers to the Greek god of utter darkness. The movie started filming in 1976, on a 6 week shoot; Coppola took 16 months to complete it, losing 100 pounds and suffering a nervous breakdown in the process. Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the project, and Coppola kept it a secret from the media. The opening scene was not scripted. Sheen was inebriated,
and when he punched the mirror, it was real glass, and he did injure himself. At one point, while raving improvised lines, he attacked Coppola.
APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola @ 153 minutes.
The film stars Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, Albert Hall, G.D. Spradlin, Scott Glenn,
Harrison Ford, & R. Lee Ermey.
Synopsis: During the Viet Nam War, an Army Captain was sent on a mission to
“terminate with extreme prejudice” an American Colonel who had gone rogue in
Cambodia, who had recruited his own private native Army, and had operated independently, disregarding political protocol.
Roger Ebert wrote: “This film is a masterpiece, a grand, and grave, and insanely inspired gesture of filmmaking–of moments both operatic in their scope and style, and other moments so silent we hear the director thinking to himself.”
This film won 2 Oscars, and was nominated for 6 more, won the Palm d’Or at Cannes, and won 3 golden globes–Best Supporting Actor (Duvall), Best original music score,
and Best Director.
The musical score for APOCALYPSE NOW was written by Carmine Coppola, the director’s father, who was a professional musician and musical director for Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, and NBC before writing film scores. He wrote music for 16 films, won an Oscar for his GODFATHER theme, and a Golden Globe for APOCALYPSE NOW. In addition to his son’s movies, he also wrote scores for THE BLACK STALLION (1979), & NEW YORK STORIES (1989).
Coppola’s cinematographer for this film was the legendary Vittorio Storaro, who lensed 62 films from 1962-2013. He won Oscars for APOCALYPSE NOW, REDS, & THE LAST EMPORER. He also shot THE CONFORMIST (1970), THE LAST TANGO IN PARIS (1972), 1900 (1976), LADYHAWKE (1985), & DICK TRACY (1990).
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at 99% of critic approval, with 93% audience approval.
Edward Guthmann of the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE wrote, “This film is a mixed bag, a product of excess and ambition, hatched in agony and redeemed with shards of brilliance”
James Berardinelli of REEL VIEWS wrote, “Coppola’s goal was two-fold: to display something of the absurdity of war, and to provide evidence of what it turns human beings into.”
Dale Pollock of VARIETY wrote, “This brilliant and bizarre film, Coppola’s four-year “work-in-progress” offers the definitive validation that “war is hell.”
So be mark your calendars, and be sure to join the Tacoma Film Club this Friday, February 1, 2013 for their screening of Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece tinged with madness, APOCALYPSE NOW (1979). It will be shown at the Center for Spiritual Living, located at 206 North J Street, on the corner of J Street and Division, across from the Group Health Hospital. The doors will be opened at 6 p.m. Join us early and enjoy some movie fellowship downstairs in the kitchen area. Those who wish to are more than welcome to bring snacks, or beverages, including wine, to share with others.
We will have the 2013 TFC membership cards available for those who wish to join us, or renew past membership. Cost is still a low $20.00 per person for the year. We hope to have worked on the overhead projector by then, so that the movie will show up lower down on the screen. The movie runs 153 minutes, and it will start at about 7:15 p.m., so it should be over before 10 p.m. See you at the movies!