Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Andrei What makes a masterpiece?


More than thirty years ago now Michael Cimino set out to create a cinematic masterpiece, a movie called Heaven's gate.

What happened next is legendary, he spent a fortune, getting the finest details down on film, the New York Times critics hated the final result and the studio panicked re-cutting the movie which then went on to bomb at at the box office.

United Artists, a studio founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas
Fairbanks and D W Griffiths was financially ruined.

But in Europe where the original cut was shown the movie was received far more favorably and today most modern film critics also view it far more kindly, perhaps "flawed masterpiece" is the consensus view.

The scene in the clip was one particularly picked out for opprobrium by the original critics, a scene which I hate to think what it cost to film and one that shows the attention to detail that made this movie notorious at the time it was made.

But perhaps it is that attention to detail which is now rehabilitating this movie as the masterpiece the director intended.

It is a pretty good movie and visually very beautiful, perhaps its a little slow paced for the average movie goer and NYT movie critic.

Whatever it is certainly not the turkey some would have you believe.

1 comment(s):

Skyman said...

Visually quite beautiful.

Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.