Criterion Press Release: Heaven's Gate (Blu-ray)

Vincent_P

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According to IMDB, HEAVEN'S GATE was nominated for Best Art Direction but did not win the award.
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Russell G

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I'm in for this one. November is going to be yet another expensive Criterion month. They're killing me this year!
 

Richard--W

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This Blu-ray is totally and completely BOUGHT!
Note the director's name is now part of the title.
Note the running time is 216 minutes.
The DVD clocked in at 219 minutes. Hmmm.
Pleased to see my colleague Bill O'Neal talks about the real Johnson County War in a supplement.
Check out his book:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1571688765/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=
 

Vincent_P

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On Criterion's homepage, it's being touted as "Michael Cimino's never before available cut", so it looks like he has done some tinkering. It'll be interesting to see if he included any of the additional footage from the short version in this new cut, as opposed to it just being a slightly edited down version of the long cut.
Vincent
 

Brianruns10

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Has Criterion ever put critical plaudits on the DVD's cover packaging before...?
 

Russell G

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Do you mean the Village Voice quote and that? They are the norm for press releases but never on the covers themselves. From what I've seen anyway.
 

SD_Brian

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Brianruns10 said:
Has Criterion ever put critical plaudits on the DVD's cover packaging before...?
The back covers as shown in Criterion press releases don't typically match the final product.
 

Bryan Tuck

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Sounds like a great package as usual, but it might have been fun to have the short version on there, too (as with Brazil), as it's never been released on video.
Vincent_P said:
On Criterion's homepage, it's being touted as "Michael Cimino's never before available cut", so it looks like he has done some tinkering. It'll be interesting to see if he included any of the additional footage from the short version in this new cut, as opposed to it just being a slightly edited down version of the long cut.
Vincent
According to IMDB, there are "slight differences" between the original prints and the DVD; I wonder if they're using this original original version. Of course, that could also be one of those bogus IMDB posts that no one's ever bothered to correct.
 

Corey3rd

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So this cut is 3 minutes shorter than the DVD that came out a while back?
Cimino had it in his contract that his name is connected with the film title.
 

Russell G

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Originally Posted by Corey3rd /t/323048/criterion-press-release-heavens-gate-blu-ray#post_3962890
So this cut is 3 minutes shorter than the DVD that came out a while back?
Cimino had it in his contract that his name is connected with the film title.
Sounds like it. According to the internet, the 219 minute version was a rushed cut to make the premier. It was then cut down the whatever the short version is, with the short version having alternate takes compared to the premier cut (billed as a directors cut, but not actually the directors final cut, probably a similar case to Kubrick snipping a bit out of The Shining after the premier). I'm guessing this one is the only cut where Cimino was allowed to sit down and finalize it to his liking? Hopefully Criterion sheds more light.

so yeah, shame this wasn't like Brazil or Warners Blade Runner with all the different cuts. That said, I'm fine watching the directors cut, I tend to stick to them regardless of the options.
 

Vincent_P

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Cimino said in interviews in the 1980s that it had been his intention to treat the 219-minute "roadshow" cut as an extended preview, then he was going to fine tune the film for its planned wide release in February 1981. Of course, the reviews out of New York were so disastrous that this idea was immediately dropped and the film was yanked from release and radically recut and shortened in an effort to "save" it. It would seem Cimino has finally gotten that chance to fine tune the film, not unlike what David Lean did with the restored and reconstructed LAWRENCE OF ARABIA back in 1989.
Bryan Tuck said:
Sounds like a great package as usual, but it might have been fun to have the short version on there, too (as with Brazil), as it's never been released on video.
The short version was released on letterboxed DVD in Europe. I have a copy.
According to IMDB, there are "slight differences" between the original prints and the DVD; I wonder if they're using this original original version. Of course, that could also be one of those bogus IMDB posts that no one's ever bothered to correct.
I think IMDB is likely incorrect, unless they're talking about the subtitles. The only thing missing from current released versions are the subtitles during the foreign language passages. The subtitles were on the original prints, the MGM-UA VHS release, and even the excerpts included in the Z CHANNEL: A MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION documentary, but they haven't been on any DVD versions, nor the HD version that played on MGM-HD and is currently streaming on Netflix.
Vincent
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Vincent,
I don't recall any subtitles on the original 70mm print that I saw at the Cinema 1. I remember being startled when Siskel & Ebert reviewed the short cut in 1981 and ran clips with subtitles (and denigrating the film for it).
 

Vincent_P

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Vincent Canby mentions the subtitles in his scathing review (see paragraph 5: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=940CE4D61638F93AA25752C1A966948260), and I was told by a trusted source that documentation confirms the subtitles were there for the original screenings.
Vincent
 

Vincent_P

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Very interesting little documentary on Vimeo about Michael Cimino and HEAVEN'S GATE:
Vincent
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Richard--W

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What a shame there isn't a documentary on Kris Kristofferson. Everyone takes this fine actor for granted. He's such an easy natural presence many people don't realize how hard he's working. Kristofferson gives everything that's in him to the role of Jim Avril. It's his best work, and Heaven's Gate is the most appropriate place to put together an appreciation. You might say he IS the film because his personality and character shapes the film so much. Kristofferson is deep Texas. You don't get a western accent like his anywhere else but Brownsville and the surrounding area. Not many Americans have an authentic western accent like that. You gotta be born and raised into it from parents who are born and raised into it. Offscreen, Kristofferson is a highly accomplished man. Of course, the personal life of an actor is none of our business, but it wouldn't hurt to mention he's a former helicopter pilot in the early days of the Vietnam war, a Rhoades scholar, an accredited poet, songwriter and musician. His accomplishments go on and on.
 

owen35

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This is really good news!! I have always had a singular appreciation for Heaven's Gate (for it IS a difficult film to appreciate) and very excited by this release. I'm also glad that Cimino is releasing a version that he wanted. It is true that the "uncut" version that has been on DVD, etc. for the past few years is, technically, NOT Cimino's final edit. The only real Cimino approved edit is the shorter version that seems will not be included in this release. A sad omission as it did have some tremendous scenes that should have been included in the longer version. However, I do find it a little difficult to believe that his "final cut" was only requiring 3 minutes of footage deletion. I do hope it is a rethink on some of the structure of the film and, perhaps, removing unnecessary scenes or adding ones that should have remained.
Let's also hope that this new mix will be an improvement as well. What a muddled mess we've been dealing with over these past few years. Ambient effects overshadow the center channel, often making dialogue difficult to hear.
Regardless, this IS an important film within the history of film and it deserved to be treated with this degree of attention. Glad Criterion was able to make it happen.
 

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