Paul Schrader: Francis Ford Coppolas Apocalypse Now Re-Release Was Worse Than Original
Paul Schrader is warning about the “slippery slope” of filmmakers revisiting their work.
The Oscar winner addressed the films of Terrence Malick and George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” as examples of why films of the past should not be recut or adapted to modern times.
“I think that’s a very slippery slope. Everything changes, and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Schrader told “Card Counter” star Oscar Isaac in conversation for Interview magazine. “When people like George [Lucas] work with CGI, you’re not going to recast the movie, you’re not going to rewrite the movie. You could fool with the color. I think Terrence Malick fooling with the color was wrong, and I think when Francis [Ford Coppola] did his longer version of ‘Apocalypse Now,’ it was worse than before. So I think it’s better to just let them be.”
Coppola released his “Apocalypse Now” final cut in 2019 to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary. He previously released “Apocalypse Now Redux” in 2001. Coppola’s “Heart of Darkness”-inspired Vietnam War epic notoriously took nearly eight months to shoot and went perilously over-budget filming in the Philippines, with Coppola grappling with unpredictable weather, personnel drama, destroyed sets, and a difficult Marlon Brando.
Scharder noted that his own films have smaller budgets than those of his peers, pointing out the emphasis on “big toys” and action sequences.
“I have never been drawn to the big toys like George and Francis and Marty [Scorsese], and once you get hooked on the big toys, then the budgets go way sky-high,” the “Master Gardener” director said. “By big toys I mean crowd scenes, a period wardrobe, more explosions.”
Talking about some of his filmmakers, Schrader also added that he doesn’t do “whimsy.”
“No, I don’t. I never really cared much for that cutesy stuff. Jacques Tati did these films, and a lot of people love them. They are whimsy, so my definition of a room in hell would be where they only show Jacques Tati movies. And then go to the next room where they constantly play ‘Prairie Home Companion,’” he said.
His new film “Master Gardener” opens may 19 from Magnolia Pictures.
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