A Few Words About A few words about...™ Heaven's Gate -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. JoshZ

    JoshZ Second Unit

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    If Heaven's Gate weren't such a scandalous bomb, it wouldn't be remembered at all today and certainly wouldn't be inducted into the Criterion Collection for reappraisal. To present it with hardly any context of what the movie is actually notable for is, at the very least, a missed opportunity.

    Criterion has long striven to provide context for the importance of each of the movies they induct into the Collection, but in this case they kowtowed to Cimino's bruised ego. That's a disappointment.
     
  2. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I disagree that "it would not be remembered at all". I don't love the film because it was a "scandalous bomb", I love it in spite of that. I think it's an accomplished work of film art. Like many other films that were originally flops (BLADE RUNNER, THE THING...), I think it still would have had its followers and grown in stature and respect over the years as it has had UA simply gone ahead and released the long cut wide instead of pulling it and thus creating the full-blown "media event". Yes, it would still have its detractors as it does, but I disagree with the notion that had HEAVEN'S GATE not been a media event back in 1980/1981 that "it wouldn't be remembered at all" today.

    Vincent
     
  3. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Second Unit

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    Heaven's Gate should be remembered as a film and not an event that destroyed UA. But one cannot separate history from art entirely, or rather, shouldn't make the attempt to. Would we ignore Adolph Hitler and the Nazis and simply appreciate Chaplin's The Great Dictator as a comedy without any political context?!? I think not.

    In Heaven's Gate's case the pall from its back story tainted the movie as a work of art and that's very regrettable. But I don't think one should separate the movie's past from its heritage as a fascinating - if flawed - work of art. Stephen Bach's Final Cut should have been a part of this Criterion release. Without it, this release of the film is very much a gush and coo and fawn fest for Cimino and Carelli. I'm not suggesting that they have nothing to be proud of. As I've stated before. Heaven's Gate is a masterwork with imperfections - like a sculpture with minor imperfections and cracks in its marble.

    To admit this isn't to bash the film itself but to provide all relevant perspectives that might have better enhanced one's understanding of both the film and its rocky history. Under that logic, it is a genuine shame that Final Cut didn't make the 'final cut!'
     
  4. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I hold out hope that the FINAL CUT documentary and the short cut will emerge in an overseas Blu-ray release.

    Actually, what's preventing FINAL CUT from being released on its own? HEARTS OF DARKNESS: A FILMMAKER'S APOCALYPSE was originally a stand-alone home video release, after all.

    Vincent
     
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie
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    Yes, but Hearts of Darkness, as unflattering a portrait as it is of FFC, is owned by American Zoetrope, and Apocalypse Now was a box office success. Final Cut's best chance at a standalone release is for some boutique label to pick it up for distribution, as its audience is limited.
     
  6. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I think a "boutique label" could do pretty well with FINAL CUT, especially with the Criterion release of HEAVEN'S GATE getting such good notices and the film itself even being revived for theatrical screenings (i.e., this past week at the Film Forum in NYC).

    Vincent
     
  7. AdrianTurner

    AdrianTurner Banned

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  8. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    Very good news. Criterion has four interviews, though, so fans probably want both releases.Edit: Damn, the UK release will be cut for 59 seconds:"Compulsory cuts were made to remove scenes of unsimulated animal cruelty orchestrated by the film makers (in this case, a cockfight and sight of horses being deliberately tripped in a cruel fashion). Cuts required in accordance with the BBFC's Guidelines and policy."
     
  9. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    Heaven's Gate was a big fat gobbler when I originally saw it back in the 70s, and, like Sorcerer, should have been left to languish in obscurity. There are a lot more deserving films out there, underrated, overlooked, than this thing.
     
  10. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    Weird comment David. Maybe we should burn the negatives?
     
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  11. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  12. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

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    How much of the doc is missing?
     
  13. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    Well, maybe not burn the negatives, but Criterion could be providing BDs for more derservng films. How come no Alain Tanner films, for example.
     
  14. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    About 20 minutes or so if that information is correct.
     
  15. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    I don't get this notion espoused by davidHartzog that the release of one title somehow means other titles won't be released. I also don't get why somebody would believe that just because they dislike something, it shouldn't be released. For example, I strongly dislike Jess Franco as a filmmaker but have no ill will towards his films being released on Blu-ray so fans of his work can enjoy them.

    Vincent
     
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  16. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure why Criterion isn't releasing Tanner titles, which is as puzzling as how Hartzog could have seen HEAVEN'S GATE (80) "in the 70s."
     
  17. davidHartzog

    davidHartzog Cinematographer
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    I don't think we need to be so snarky, I seem to be able to post without being rude, Mr. Cashill. So I was off by a year. My point is HG is available on DVD and even shows up on the tv, so no one is being deprived. I think Criterion could be using its limited resources to do more deserving films.
     
  18. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    I get your point but a full year after Criterion released the disc it's rather moot one to be making. Tell me, given the general reaction in 1980-1981, what drove you to see the film in the first place?
     
  19. AdrianTurner

    AdrianTurner Banned

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    Perhaps because there's no roller-skating in them?
     
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  20. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    Can I ask where did you get this info? I mean since the actual film is cut (by the BBFC) AND the documentary is shortened, I'm running out of reasons to buy this disc. :(
     

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