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3 items from 2013


Heaven's Gate

7 December 2013 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(Michael Cimino, 1980; Second Sight, 15)

This important double-disc set contains two essential films. This is the first time Michael Cimino's epic 216-minute western has been available for domestic viewing in Britain. The second disc contains a shortened version of Michael Epstein's documentary feature Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate. Beautifully restored on DVD and Blu-ray, Heaven's Gate is one of the finest westerns ever made. It's a measured, magisterial account of the Johnson County War in 1892 Wyoming, when the powerful stock growers' association brought in a vast posse of assassins to destroy the wave of European immigrants they saw as threatening their monopoly of grazing land.

The film is seen largely through the eyes of an alcoholic aristocrat belonging to the stock growers (John Hurt) and two class enemies: a Harvard-educated sheriff who sides with the settlers (Kris Kristofferson) and an immigrant hired gun working for »

- Philip French

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Heaven's Gate

7 December 2013 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(Michael Cimino, 1980; Second Sight, 15)

This important double-disc set contains two essential films. This is the first time Michael Cimino's epic 216-minute western has been available for domestic viewing in Britain. The second disc contains a shortened version of Michael Epstein's documentary feature Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate. Beautifully restored on DVD and Blu-ray, Heaven's Gate is one of the finest westerns ever made. It's a measured, magisterial account of the Johnson County War in 1892 Wyoming, when the powerful stock growers' association brought in a vast posse of assassins to destroy the wave of European immigrants they saw as threatening their monopoly of grazing land.

The film is seen largely through the eyes of an alcoholic aristocrat belonging to the stock growers (John Hurt) and two class enemies: a Harvard-educated sheriff who sides with the settlers (Kris Kristofferson) and an immigrant hired gun working for »

- Philip French

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Heaven's Gate – review

5 August 2013 5:40 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The word revisionism recurs in reassessments of Heaven's Gate. It rightly suggests a new look at American history. It's also used to imply that back in 1980 everyone went along with the viciously hostile reviews handed out to Cimino's liberal masterpiece by the American critics, a flock of sheep driven by a subconscious desire to apologise to Jane Fonda for having admired The Deer Hunter, a film she'd denounced as rightwing and racist. In fact, after the first European screening at Cannes in its truncated form, Positif's Michel Ciment, Nigel Andrews in the Financial Times and I in the Observer immediately recognised its importance. ("The truth is that Heaven's Gate is a damn good western in the politically disenchanted vein of McCabe and Mrs Miller", was my initial verdict.) We continued to champion it.

Like The Godfather, Heaven's Gate, now re-released in the director's cut, is deeply influenced in its stately »

- Philip French

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3 items from 2013


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