Print

Print


Thanks to everybody for their responses on 'Heaven's Gate'. The reason for
my question in the first place was that I got into a discussion with
someone over at cinema-l.

I myself think the film is brilliant. It's really an European art film in
disquise and I read with interest the Zsigmont quote in the earlier mail.
It is deeply uncommercial, I am not surprised that it failed at the
box-office at all, and Cimino must have been a great trickster to have
gotten UA to make it in the first place.

Thanks for pointing me to the Robin Wood reference, he is one of my
favourite critics so that should be interesting to hunt down. Aside from
that, there has been little that I have seen written about it, and the last
reviews seems to be from the British re-release in 1983 of the 220-minute
version (the only version that I have seen). The quotes below are from the
last chapter of Steven Bach's book (an interesting book that I'd already
read). The critics was raving about it and I can't resist giving some
quotes at the end of the mail.

One of the reasons that GATE has been 'lost' a bit, I guess is Cimino's
mediocre later output, but it's interesting to see that Wood finds value in
some of it.

Well, here are the quotes:

Derek Malcom in the GUARDIAN wrote:
'The full version, I can assure you, is quite an experience - an
extraordinary attempt to make a major American movie at a time when only
the minors hold sway' <I guess he refer to the time of 1983 in this quote.
Dag>.

Philip French in the OBSERVER wrote:
the long one is 'only an amplification of the shorter one, and not in any
sense a substantially different work, as many has claimed. I hope this
masterpiece will now get the support it deserves.'

Geoff Brown in the TIMES found it
'a delirious spectacle', thought 'most of the performers work wonders' and
cited Huppert as 'touchingly natural'. He added, 'One emerges from the
complete HEAVEN'S GATE dubious, perhaps, about its intellectual worth, but
dazzled and moved by cinema's magnetic power'.

The SUNDAY TELEGRAPH reported
'The restored version is little short of magnificent'.

Nigel Andrews re-reviewed the film in Financial Times <and must have felt
pretty pleased with himself. Dag> and declared unequivocally
'The film is a masterpiece'.

Dag Soedtholt

----
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
http://www.tcf.ua.edu/ScreenSite