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 Post subject: 636 Heaven's Gate
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:09 am 
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Heaven's Gate

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A breathtaking depiction of the promise and perils of America’s western expansion, Heaven’s Gate, directed by Michael Cimino, is among Hollywood’s most ambitious and unorthodox epics. Kris Kristofferson brings his weathered sensuality to the role of a Harvard graduate who relocates to Wyoming as a federal marshal; there, he learns of a government-sanctioned plot by cattle barons to kill the area’s European settlers for their land. The resulting battle is based on the bloody real-life Johnson County War of 1892. Also starring Isabelle Huppert and Christopher Walken, Heaven’s Gate is a savage and ravishingly shot take on western movie lore. This release presents the full director’s cut, letting viewers today see Cimino’s potent original vision.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

- New, restored transfer of director Michael Cimino’s cut of the film, supervised by Cimino
- New restoration of the 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Cimino and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- New illustrated audio interview with Cimino and producer Joann Carelli
- New interviews with actor Kris Kristofferson, soundtrack arranger and performer David Mansfield, and second assistant director Michael Stevenson
- Trailer and TV spots
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic and programmer Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan and a 1980 interview with Cimino


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:49 am 
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Alonzo the Armless wrote:
Is HEAVEN'S GATE as bad as everyone says? I've never seen it and I've always been curious if a movie with a cast and director that talented could really make a movie considered one of the worst.

I think it's getting more appreciation now. Though when I first saw it I didn't really like it, but I didn't think it was all that terrible. I think it was one of those films where expectations were so high (and the budget was even higher) that everyone made a bigger fuss out of it than it really deserved. If I could describe the experience it would be "the wedding scene from The Deer Hunter stretched out to 3 hours." Not terrible but sort of ass-numbing. I've been meaning to come back to it, but haven't had the real urge to revisit it yet, to see if I've changed and if maybe the film works better.

EDIT: And oh yeah, on the technical side I'm still not sure what to make of it now. I remember thinking that he got in way over his head, but I can't really remember what bothered me about it now.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:20 pm 
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Alonzo wrote:
Is HEAVEN'S GATE as bad as everyone says?

My answer: not at all; it's remarkable. The reasons why it was rejected are worth looking into, in my opinion.
First, the film was called "extravagant," a "waste," and so on, because it was a very ambitious and expensive project for Cimino, who was following up the acclaimed Deer Hunter, but it failed to bring a return on United Artists' investment, partly because of Cimino's particular artistic decisions and partly because of errors in judgment by UA. It's of course a regular custom to lash back at the sophomore effort of a much-hyped artist. (Heaven's Gate was really the third film Cimino had directed, but he hadn't gotten nearly the same degree of attention for his first, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, so I believe this custom took place with his second and third films.)
Also, because the film's expense was given so much publicity, audiences were probably expecting an easily digested Western extravaganza. Instead, what they got was a harsh, atmospheric look at U.S. imperial expansion told through the story of the destruction of a group of immigrant farmers -- a story told in a way that defied many longstanding Hollywood conventions.
One of these conventions is to develop important character relationships early on in the film. In Heaven's Gate, the relationship between the characters played by Walken, Kristofferson, and Huppert is established gradually, and the viewer does not grasp all the important nuances of it until around 100 minutes into the film. I could attempt an explanation of why Cimino structured the film this way, but that's a subject that would require an entire essay, so I'll let it go at that, unless someone wants to discuss this particular point.
Another convention is to clearly establish the narrative importance of the main characters so that the viewer can easily distinguish between major characters and marginal ones. In Heaven's Gate, John Hurt's character seems to play a central role, but is nearly always removed from the film's action. But this is precisely the point: his character, while important, is marginal because of his personal demons, his cynicism, cowardice, etc. His importance to the story is abundantly clear to me, every time I think about it.
These "difficult" elements, among others, were I believe quite deliberate on Cimino's part, in order to make the film richer and more thought-provoking. However, the audience was thrown off by them. Combined with the requirement of sitting through such subtleties for 220 minutes, audiences rejected it outright. One important point when discussing the film's structure is that Cimino stated that the original 220-minute cut was not satisfactory to him, but he was pressured by United Artists to release it on the prearranged date even though he didn't consider it finished. When it premiered in three cities, audiences did not respond favorably and the film was withdrawn almost immediately and drastically shortened, making it a total mess. If we accept that neither cut fully represented Cimino's intentions, then who knows what might have been possible? As it stands, however, the 220-minute cut is easily one of the greatest Hollywood films of its era, for me.
It's reputation has been rehabilitated slightly as more and more people have had the chance to see the longer cut first on Z Channel (see last year's Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession) and then on home video. I still don't see many critics praising it. Like many other things, the attacks were intensified by peer pressure. Talking about what a critical and financial disaster Heaven's Gate was became the fashionable thing to do, for viewers and critics alike. All I can say is to encourage people to see it (or see it again and reconsider). It'll be a cold day in hell when MGM does it, but the film really deserves a 3-disc SE, which would improve the video quality and would provide yet another opportunity for reassesment.
EDIT: After that last sentence, I should add that the current DVD is well worth the $14. There are a few reel-change marks and a little dirt, but other than that it's an excellent anamorphic transfer that does justice to Vilmos Zsigmond's outstanding cinematography. EDIT again for typos.


Last edited by Gregory on Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:07 pm 
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I would actually buy a special edition if they put it out (though like you, I highly doubt they will). Is there any indication anywhere of how Cimino would have cut the film had he had more time?

I do have to revisit it and buying a special edition DVD would force me to. I was in the wrong frame of mind while watching it, I know this for sure (knew it halfway through watching it.) I was actually expecting a catastrophe and I didn't get that (which was sort of disappointing since that's why I was watching it.) I still wasn't a fan of the film, it felt really long-winded to me, but it d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y wasn't the nightmare it was made out to be. I'm assuming that expectations were way too high and everyone was expecting something different (like you said) that it was blown out of proportion. There was a lot of this happening around the time, most notably Ishtar, which I don't think was at all bad, mediocre at worst (but then I could be crazy.)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:16 pm 

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Great analysis Gregory! I'm totally with you, 'bro!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:18 pm 
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My 2 cents: The biggest problem with the film is Kris Kristofferson. He si NOT a leading man and he CANNOt carry a film, let alone a film like this one. He seems to be sleepwalking through the whole thing. And surrounded by talent like Walken, Huppert and Jeff Bridges, is there any doubt he would be found wanting. I think it's rep would have come farther, faster if Kristofferson hadn't have sucked so hard. They key to the film working is closely identifying with his character. He is the fulcrum through which all the action flows. If viewers can't connect to him, it's hard to connect to the film.

I also think the film is too long, but Isabelle Huppert has never looked better, so that's something.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:23 pm 
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cdnchris wrote:
Is there any indication anywhere of how Cimino would have cut the film had he had more time?

In a documentary I saw awhile back about the making of the film, the head of UA said that Cimino's original cut was over 5 hours long!

Gregory wrote:
It'll be a cold day in hell when MGM does it, but the film really deserves a 3-disc SE

Then it'll be an even colder day when they release the 5 hour 'director's cut'.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:02 pm 
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According to the admittedly unreliable book Final Cut by Steven Bach, Cimino's bare minimum for an acceptable cut of Heaven's Gate, that would have preserved the pictorial and rhythmic qualities that Cimino had attempted to achieve from the beginning, was about 3 hours and 40 minutes. I'm not sure what his "perfect cut" would have looked like, but I think it would have been somewhere inbetween the raw 5-hour cut and the bare-minimum 3 hour and 40 minute cut.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:35 pm 

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I recently read a thread on HTF that stated due to some management upheavals at MGM, the SE of Heaven's Gate that was being planned may now be terminated. Apparently it was to contain the recent doc Final Cut...if this is true info then I am disappointed...anyone hear anything else about this situation?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:08 pm 
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Gregory wrote:
According to the admittedly unreliable book Final Cut by Steven Bach, Cimino's bare minimum for an acceptable cut of Heaven's Gate, that would have preserved the pictorial and rhythmic qualities that Cimino had attempted to achieve from the beginning, was about 3 hours and 40 minutes. I'm not sure what his "perfect cut" would have looked like, but I think it would have been somewhere inbetween the raw 5-hour cut and the bare-minimum 3 hour and 40 minute cut.

So is that 'bare-minimum' 3 hr 40 cut not the same as the 3 hr 40 original release cut you were talking about above?

Gregory wrote:
One important point when discussing the film's structure is that Cimino stated that the original 220 minute cut was not satisfactory to him, but he was pressured by United Artists to release it on the prearranged date even though he didn't consider it finished.

. . . or is this an example of Bach's unreliability?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 12:53 am 
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Yes, they're the same -- sorry if I was unclear. I think Bach meant that Cimino certainly wasn't happy with the 3 hour and 40 minute cut but that it at least preserved some of the important things he was going for, whereas any further cutting would have been utterly disastrous. I've only seen the 3 hour and 40 minute cut, but from what I've read about all the crucial things that were truncated or removed in the rerelease cut, I can safely say that it was a total disaster.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 3:39 am 
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I urge anyone who has access to them to view both the film (worth it for many things, and I will strike anyone in the face who repeats the canard that it had nothing going for it, because even if it was as bad as it was reputed to be, it is simply gorgeously shot by the mighty Vilmos) and the excellent documentary Final Cut. I caught them both last year on Trio and I recommend both. That movie never had a chance, even if Cimino had made no mistakes and hadn't been bullheaded about it.

I find it interesting that twice since, critics and (worse) the lackwits who go by the term "entertainment reporters" have gotten out the knives for a similar project, hoping for another expensive flop so they can indulge in the kind of absurd pseudo-populism that was exemplified in the infamous interview Gene Shalit had with Cimino (it's in Final Cut) and cluck their tongues at the Artist Laid Low By Hubris, and on both occasions (Costner with Dances and Cameron with Titanic) they've had to sit back and eat it as the films went on to box office success.

Of course, this makes then all the angrier and if the Director is fool enough to tempt fate again, as Costner did, they hit you with renewed and redoubled force. I think that Cameron knows this and if he ever makes another feature film, it'll be a good while from now.


Last edited by Polybius on Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 4:08 am 
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Trio! That's where I saw Final Cut! And I think you're right, just imagine if The Lord of the Rings would have failed. It would have been Heaven's Gate x3!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:37 pm 
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Trio is a fine highbrow Canadian TV network that unfortunately (and I smell Rupert Murdoch's vile handprints all over this) got involved in some sort of dispute with DirecTV and was jettisoned from my lineup on Jan. 1 :cry:

It's where I saw Day For Night, too.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:13 am 
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After years of hearing about it, I finally saw the legendary Heaven's Gate today. From the opening titles set to David Mansfield's gorgeous score until the 3 hour mark, I truly felt like I was watching an unparalleled visceral masterpiece. It did have a massively slow pace, with plenty of long scenes with little or no dialogue in which feelings are being expressed in the faces of the actors, but I found this fascinating, though the fact that I was falling absolutely in love with Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography helped. It also seemed like this film was doing hundreds of new things in a beautiful cinematic way, particularly taking the concept of dance scenes to a new level, as my favorite dance scenes in cinema are now in Heavens Gate. The pure, wrenching power of the way the dance scenes were conceived, shot and cut really startled the living hell out of me: the dance at Harvard set to the Blue Danube, the roller skating dance with the camera spiraling wildly, and (my favorite) Kristofferson and Huppert waltzing alone. Cimino's attention to detail and mise en scene was also overwhelmingly brilliant, as were the sets and costumes. There is, for example, a breathtaking vision of the town Cheyene, with smoke streaming out of every high building chimney, and the streets bustling with seemingly choreographed activity. And unlike many, I felt that Kristofferson was competent, that the gorgeous Isabelle Huppert was damn good, and Chris Walken as great as ever (and I very much liked their characters). It all seemed very pure to me in what Michael Cimino was trying to achieve, but certain parts really confused me.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Now, why exactly did John Hurt stay a part of the mob when he clearly seemed removed from what they were doing, and in fact against it? And what exactly is the point of his character? After the spectacular opening where we are introduced to him, he seems like mild comedy relief until his demise.

The sudden dimise of Ella bothered me. I loved her character, and dramatically, it's very powerful that she was murdered by the mob, but it just seemed to happen too sudden. So here's what happened: Kristofferson walks away from the battle field, but the mob is pissed (because he helped the immigrants with the battle?), so they try to kill him but end up killing his love and his friend instead. I'm confused why the mob attacked him at the end, and also what exactly they meant earlier when they were on horseback saying that 'they're ordered under arrest.' Did he mean the immigrants were ordered under arrest?

And also, what do people here make of the last scene? Is it that for the rest of his life, Kristofferson's character would settle with a woman he didn't really love? And is the woman at the end the same one from the photograph? It sure seems like it, though I'm left wondering where she was during the entire time he was in Cheyene (I'm guessing that they were split, but that he came back to her sometime after Ella's death). A strange ending indeed, and I'd like to know from veteren fans of this film what they thought Cimino was trying to get across with it.


As my comments/questions on the film above suggest, I definitely need another viewing (and another viewing is certainly in the cards in the next week or so), but I'd like to have a discussion on this very good, but rather difficult film before I revisit it to make a final evaluation.

With all of that said, the entire roller rink dance followed by the lovely waltz is one of the five or ten greatest things I've ever seen on film.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 7:52 am 
Just want to raise my hand and say that I too think Heaven's Gate is a great film. Cheers for your appreciative post, Dylan.

John Hurt's character needs to be carried, like Walter Brennan in To Have and Have Not. He's a rummy. Only unlike that film, the people he's chosen to be carried by...well, they suck.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
In the final scene, Kristofferson's character is embalmed. Living but embalmed. That's the key to the ending.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 5:03 pm 
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Polybius,

Thanks for your response. I guess I mostly loved Isabelle Huppert in this role because I found her beautiful and her English accent was just about the cutest thing ever, but I also found her completely believable. I go to school with some European girls with accents, and their pronounciations and (oddly) facial expressions while speaking English are dead-on similar to Huppert's...I guess not only did I find Isabelle cute, but she seemed completely believable because I've known girls like that {though none have had a brothel}). I look forward to seeing more films with her.

cbernard,

Interesting description of the end
[Reveal] Spoiler:
(re: Kristofferson's "embalming").
Would you care to expand on that? And I guess John Hurt does seem to be the needy alcoholic fallen into the wrong crowd. Anybody else have any opinions on Hurt's character?

Does anybody else have any further comments/observations? This is a fascinating film to discuss.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:37 am 
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Dylan wrote:
I look forward to seeing more films with her.

La Ceremonie =D>

Isabelle, Sandrine Bonnaire, Virginie Ledoyen and Jacqueline Bissett.

An embarrassment of Gallic riches.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:10 am 
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Dylan, it made my day that you saw Heaven's Gate and loved it. The story and characters are so rich and complex that I feel like I have too much stress and too little time to really contemplate them and write about them in a way that would be satisfying and do them justice (a common feeling of mine lately). With that disclaimer, I can't resist attempting a response to some of the questions you've raised.
First, I share your appreciation for the marvelous dance scenes. I think they're a wonderful example of how, in the right hands, sequences that aren't directly plot- or dialogue-based can be used to communicate ineffable subtleties to the viewer just by capturing the images and creating moods in certain ways. It's pure filmmaking. I wonder if Cimino's longer cut would have used similar techniques to establish a better understanding of the immigrants without necessarily developing new characters or subplots. The immigrant settlers are not really a direct part of the film in any of the existing cuts -- and that is one of my main criticisms of it. Anyway, I find it really sad that those dance sequences were cut from the 150 minute cut and so many people (most people?) who have seen Heaven's Gate never saw those sequences.

I also wanted to say I think there's a real irony in the John Hurt character and the way audiences generally reacted to him. Many people asked what he was doing in the film because his character wasn't a plot-driving "actor" in the story. He seemed out of place. People also saw him as an unsympathetic character. (These reactions are from various reviews I've read; I'm not attributing them to anyone here.)
As I see it, the irony is that these things are not really criticisms of Hurt's character; they're precisely the point. His inaction is part of who his character is, and put in in a historical/social context as well as within the relationships of the other main characters these traits say something that most certainly belong in the film. The fact that he's unsympathetic is also part of the character, and this may be enhanced by the familiarity of some of his flaws. I found that his personality holds a mirror up to something I believe all of us to some extent share: some kind of hesitation to take notice of the importance of what's going on around us, stand up, and act on it. This was something I connected with very strongly in the film. Because his flaws are so pronounced -- perhaps even extending even beyond simple complacency and cowardice to Hamlet-like proportions -- they can be really difficult for the viewer to face. The film's prologue, which shows Billly Irvine's (Hurt) prodigiousness as well as some of his pain and cynicism, put this into crucial perspective. The character takes on a social/political dimension throughout the film. For me, his trajectory from the valedictory speech to his ambivalent and self-destructive adult life parallel what had taken place throughout the 1970s as some vital areas of social and political life collapsed to a kind of defeatist apathy.

The comparison that cbernard made of Hurt to Walter Brennan in To Have and Have Not is an interesting one. An elaboration of that character in Hawks' oeuvre is Dean Martin in Rio Bravo. But I see Billy Irvine in Heaven's Gate as far more isolated than those analagous characters in Hawks. I don't think as an adult he ever has anything like the communities that exists in those Hawks films, which in Rio Bravo for example eventually allow Dean Martin's character to join "the self-respect club." Irvine's isolation and cynicism develop to such severe proportions that he is unable to find the strength to achieve a real sense of himself or to discover who his real friends are and what is genuinely important to him.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 6:34 am 
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Gregory, thank you very much for your post. "Heaven's Gate" is indeed a complex film (and especially difficult to grasp), possibly moreso than anything else I've ever seen. It took quite a lot of analysis/evaluation before I was able to decide what I thought of it (that is, apart from the cinematography, which I took an instant adoration to), and I'm happy that it's overall vision/complexity won me over in the end. And then just two days later seeing the brilliant "Deer Hunter," I'm convinced that Hollywood blew it when they set his career on fire (though I'm surprised that Cimino hadn't/hasn't tried harder to get funding for his numerous personal projects he seems to have...though maybe it's safe to assume that he has and it just never took off).

And thank you for your wonderful interpretation of Hurt's character, which I undoubtedly agree with. Besides Zsigmond's work, what I loved most about "Heaven's Gate" was how gradual you end up caring for Walken, Huppert, and Kristofferson's characters. You can say your acquaintanceship with them seems to take almost as long as it takes to get to know and feel comfortable with a person in reality. For example, that especially villainous scene where Walken shoots through the hanging sheets to murder the man, and then swiftly turns his back and starts walking. The impression is that he is a murderer, and a threat. But as we move further down in the narrative, I grew to like him very much, and to realize that he is actually one of the positive forces in the film was a comforting moment in the viewing (but it takes about 100 minutes to piece everything together, as Gregory noted earlier). And that's not even the tip of the character arcs, the subtle developments are quite brilliant.

It's unbelievable to hear that the dance sequences were in anyway altered in the original cut, let alone cut out! Absolutely insane on the stuido's part, as those scenes are among the finest in all of cinema.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 7:30 am 
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Quote:
Besides Zsigmond's work, what I loved most about "Heaven's Gate" was how gradual you end up caring for Walken, Huppert, and Kristofferson's characters. You can say your acquaintanceship with them seems to take almost as long as it takes to get to know and feel comfortable with a person in reality...

This is such a good observation, and one I completely share. Once again, something that reviewers slammed Cimino for (showing that "he doesn't know how to tell a story") enriches the film and its characters immeasurably. Although it's a silly hypothetical because Heaven's Gate was of a certain time and circumstances, I wonder if Heaven's Gate would have been far better received if it had been made in more recent years. I mean, it seems to me that a large source of viewers' confusion had to do with their expectations of a Hollywood film at that time. That's not to say that Hollywood films are necessarily "simple" as a rule but rather that the classic era of the studios established sets of conventions that shaped people's habits of watching films and their expectations (e.g. that a key relationship will be clearly established early on). For example, I believe Bonnie and Clyde was reviled not just because of its casual approach to violence and sex but also because it violated some of these conventions in a way that disoriented many audiences and reviewers. Heaven's Gate was a box-office disaster to a great extent because it continued to break down so many of these conventions. Most of the time, I don't think Cimino was going against them just for the sake of doing so, but his deviation from them says a lot about his maturity as a filmmaker and his obstinacy.

EDIT: on second thought, maybe people would have the same criticisms of the film's structure that they did then. People today probably have a similiar set of expectations to what filmgoers brought to films in 1980. And while some films have broken with existing conventions, most films have continued to refine and reinforce them.


Last edited by Gregory on Sat Jun 04, 2005 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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I watched "Heaven's Gate" again, and it's quite remarkable how much better it was on the second viewing (and I already thought it was great). After spending time pondering director's intentions and gathering my own interpretations on the scenes/story, to then watch everything I've thought about illustated illuminously is quite remarkable. The film is a true vision, and one of the most interesting films I've ever seen.

While doing some online research on the making of this film, I found some very interesting articles.

http://mjf.smsu.edu/faculty/wang/ih/arc ... 3_time.htm

http://mjf.smsu.edu/faculty/wang/ih/arc ... ytimes.htm

and lastly, an investigation into the book "Final Cut" by Steven Bach (on the 'making' of Heaven's Gate):

http://mjf.smsu.edu/faculty/wang/ih/arc ... ancial.htm

Some quotes on the book:

Huppert said it was "written for revenge."

From Dave Field, co-head of production at UA:
"It is a dishonest book, and I always suspected it would be. Bach is out to present himself in a sympathetic light, and the facts come second. There are episodes in it that are totally invented, including a dinner in Paris, when we were casting Huppert, that Bach describes in detail and that never took place. And he never mentions the extent to which UA President Andy Albeck got behind the movie and Cimino, once he had seen early footage. I remember that he came out of the viewing room and said, 'You have underestimated this film. It is Birth Of A Nation'."


I was pretty sure I was going to avoid this book after reading what Gregory posted above (about Cimino dismissing it as 'pure fiction'), and now I'll definitely avoid it. Those are some awful lies and from the sounds of it, the overall intentions of the book are mercenary sympathetic-gain. Above all, it's a shame that so many people have read this book and believe it (from the sounds of it, more people have read this book than have actually seen "Heaven's Gate").

The article also said that Cimino himself commented that he is the only one who knows the entire story, and that someday he will tell it like it was. I look forward to that account. Cimino ought to write a book on his life and career (though maybe he already has). Until then, I suppose I'll have to search elsewhere for comments on the film's making (the recent "Z Channel" documentary and "A Decade Under the Influence" covered it pretty well). This American Cinematographer issue looks interesting:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:22 pm 
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I found a copy of Heaven's Gate for 1.99, and even though I never liked the film I couldn't pass up the deal. After all, now I could show everybody what one of the worst films ever made looks like! So I put it in the dvd player and watched it alone last night, and something really weird happened.
I found myself. . . enjoying. . . myself.
Dammit, I really don't know how I ever disliked this film, it's near perfect. Now I have to somehow convince everybody I told it sucks to watch it with an open mind.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 4:43 am 
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So is Heaven's Gate worth a blind buy or no? I've heard some rather conflicting things said about it. Some say it is the worst thing ever commited to film, while others believe it to be one of the masterpieces of 1980s Hollywood.

A little help?


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2005 5:38 pm 
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Heaven's Gate is one of the greatest films of the last 25 years. Cimino is a wonderful, unique talent.

MGM were planning a 2-disc SE of Heaven's Gate last year, according to Cimino (I can't remember where I read this) but it was delayed - along with many other DVD projects - when Sony bought them out. I really hope we see a SE with Cimino commentary, new interviews, etc very soon.

I still haven't picked up Year of the Dragon. Again, great film. Cimino's commentary is said to be superb. His track on the UK DVD of The Deer Hunter is as spell-binding and emotional as the film itself. The Universal R1 set is going to be poorer without it.

Last I heard, he was trying to get a screenplay of his into production; the story of how Vasco de Gama discovered the north-east coast of South America.


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