Gerretsen was a renowned freelance photographer who had previously worked in Chile and Vietnam when he got the call from Coppola, who was looking for a combat photographer for a war movie. Given unprecedented access to the film’s stars, extras, crew, and legendary behind-the-scenes drama he spent six months in the Philippines, shooting thousands of images. Culled from that archive, these full-color photographs offer an intimate glimpse of the turmoil and excitement of a Hollywood spectacle rising out of the unpredictable climate of the Philippine rainforest.
Capturing the star power of Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Dennis Hopper, as well as the sprawling sets, he takes us into the beauty of the Southeast Asian jungle and shows us how its inhabitants were incorporated into the filming. Throughout the book, Gerretsen’s astute reflections of his experience on set are as fascinating as his photography. While Apocalypse Now remains one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, the making of the film is equally legendary. Nearly fifty years later, Gerretsen’s photographs remind us of Coppola’s artistic achievements and of a pivotal era in American cultural history.
In June 2019, KINO Rotterdam made a short (32 min) documentary about Chas’s life and the images he had taken during the six months he worked as a still photographer on Apocalypse Now. The documentary, The Dutch Angle: Chas Gerretsen & Apocalypse Now created a lot of interest and was included in the Blue Ray release of Apocalypse Now Final Cut.
Book Specs: Apocalypse Now – The Lost Photo Archive by Chas Gerretsen published by Prestel October 05, 2021 (US) // September 07, 2021 (UK) | Hardcover | 256 pages | 24,0 x 30,0 cm, |140 color illustrations | ISBN: 978-3-7913-8808-3. Available here or here (UK and US).
Chas Gerretsen was born in Groningen, The Netherlands, in 1943. Gerretsen was a war photographer, photojournalist, and film set photographer. His photographs of armed conflicts, Hollywood films and celebrity portraits were published in most major magazines, including Time, Newsweek and Rolling Stone magazine.
A retrospective of his work and life – Starring Chas Gerretsen – is exhibited from October 16 till April the 22nd, 2022 in the Nederlands Fotomuseum, in Rotterdam. (->Link) The corrresponding catalogue Starring Chas Gerretsen by Iris Sikking you find here.
External Link: Netherlands Photo Museum: Archives Chas Gerretsen
Related Tag: Film