Saturday, November 13, 2010

Movie review – “Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven’s Gate” (2004) ***1/2

One of the most famous – if not the most famous – movie flops of all time deserved a good making-of doco and it got one. Some great interviews: Jeff Bridges, Brad Dourif, Steven Bach, David Field (UA exec at the time), Kris Kristofferson, various crew. Michael Cimino didn’t agree to be interviewed but there’s plenty of archival footage involving him. This isn’t a Cimino bash by any means – everyone comments on his dedication and determination to make the best possible film, but also point out this meant he didn’t really care about things like budget and schedule. The executives at UA such as Bach acknowledge their inexperience – I can see why they let things go overboard in Montana, but even after they cracked the whip, why did they then let Cimino shoot the Harvard sequence. It makes no sense. I hate the way critics tore the film a new one when it came out then turn around and say the re-cut version was better; blaming everything on the studio was incredibly childish.

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