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Other/Miscellaneous => Off-Topic Discussion => Topic started by: dave jenkins on July 02, 2016, 01:59:39 PM

Title: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 02, 2016, 01:59:39 PM
Too bad. He was younger than my dad.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 02, 2016, 02:08:43 PM
http://variety.com/2016/film/people-news/michael-cimino-dead-dies-deer-hunter-heavens-gate-1201808052/
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 02, 2016, 05:21:10 PM
His final published interview: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/michael-cimino-full-uncensored-hollywood-778288
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 02, 2016, 06:32:56 PM
I think The Deer Hunter is a great movie.

Heaven's Gate, I think the first three hours - despite some problems - are vey good, but then the film goes nowhere in the last 40 minutes.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 02, 2016, 07:41:17 PM
I really do believe that he had an extraordinary visual talent and should have been able to leave a much bigger impression had circumstances been different. I hope that when he passed he did not feel any frustration for what could have been and just felt satisfaction for what was.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: mike siegel on July 02, 2016, 11:32:24 PM
I could have met him last year in Locarno. But his behavior was a bit strange, so I shied away. He enriched my 2nd favorite decade with THUNDERBOLT & DEER HUNTER, two very unique films. He has his place in history.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 03, 2016, 01:07:47 AM
anyone agree with me that Heaven's Gate was not complete shit? It has terrific potential and than falls apart disappointingly, but as a movie itself - forgetting the whole backstory with Cimino's excesses and the studio and the spending, etc. - as a movie itself it has parts that are really good. It may be the prototypical FLOP of all=time, but forgetting all that, there's a lot of good here, and a little of shit too.

In a nutshell, IMO the first 3 hours are (despite some annoying shit) for the most part very good , and then the last 40 minutes disappoints.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on July 03, 2016, 01:27:49 AM
The Deer Hunter was his masterpiece, the film in which he went over his possibilities. The wedding sequence is the best thing he ever made. There he reached a naturalness and implicitness which in fact was beyond his range. After The Deer Hunter it all went down film for film. Heaven's Gate is an uneven film with many impressive scenes, but also with unfinished characters and some rhythmical problems, and Year of the Dragon, his last convincing film, has some similar problems.
I rewatched The Desperate Hours a few years ago, and this is one of those films in which a drinkish eye rolling is unavoidable, mainly because its stupidness is so obviously dispensable.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 03, 2016, 03:28:17 AM
anyone agree with me that Heaven's Gate was not complete shit? It has terrific potential and than falls apart disappointingly, but as a movie itself - forgetting the whole backsrory with Cimino's excesses and the studio and the spending, etc. - as a movie itself it has parts that are really good. It may be the prototypical FLOP of all=time, but forgetting all that, there's a lot og good here, and a little of shit too.

In a nutshell, IMO the first 3 hours are (despite some annoying shit) for the most part very good , and then the last 40 minutes disappoints.


I think Heaven's Gate is an absolute masterpiece.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: PowerRR on July 04, 2016, 03:08:05 PM
RIP, one of my favorite filmmakers. For quite a while I considered Deer Hunter to be the best film I'd ever seen. Heavens Gate is fantastic and I just put in the blu. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot among the best of buddy films. Year of the Dragon was great too.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 04, 2016, 03:59:33 PM
RIP, one of my favorite filmmakers. For quite a while I considered Deer Hunter to be the best film I'd ever seen. Heavens Gate is fantastic and I just put in the blu. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot among the best of buddy films. Year of the Dragon was great too.

You like the end of Heavens Gate?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 04, 2016, 05:16:39 PM
What's wrong with the ending?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on July 05, 2016, 06:40:55 AM
Heaven's Gate still hasn't "clicked" with me. I love many things in it, I also see a lot of flaws (some of which are inherent to this kind of autor epics) but more importantly I think I still haven't "got" what it's really about. It may never come.

Deer Hunter is somewhere between a solid 9 and a small 10/10, depending on my mood.

Year of the Dragon is very good.

Thunderbolt & Lightfoot is good, and even fantastic if you're into Clint's 70's stuff.

I haven't seen much of his other stuff but I also don't think I'm losing much.

You like the end of Heavens Gate?

Mainly, the editing of the battle sequences is utterly disappointing.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: PowerRR on July 05, 2016, 08:30:54 AM
You like the end of Heavens Gate?
I remember being indifferent about it. I know he's on a boat in Rhode Island, but I forget what leads us there (I didn't finish the movie yesterday). Fantastic is an overstatement, but its a solid 8/10 for me, maybe 7.5 at lowest. It's flawed but very very good.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 05, 2016, 09:47:12 AM
I remember being indifferent about it. I know he's on a boat in Rhode Island, but I forget what leads us there (I didn't finish the movie yesterday). Fantastic is an overstatement, but its a solid 8/10 for me, maybe 7.5 at lowest. It's flawed but very very good.

I am not referring specifically to that scene. I did not like the last 40 mins. nearly as much as the first 3 hours.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 06, 2016, 12:01:29 PM
I am not referring specifically to that scene. I did not like the last 40 mins. nearly as much as the first 3 hours.

So, to rephrase my question, what don't you like about the last 40 mins?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Rojo Ramone on July 06, 2016, 01:05:02 PM

I think Heaven's Gate is an absolute masterpiece.

Same here (along with DH)

I can't think of another film that better depicts the psychological damage from war than THE DEER HUNTER.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 06, 2016, 02:24:36 PM
So, to rephrase my question, what don't you like about the last 40 mins?

i saw it quite a while ago, I can't tell you scene by scene, I just remember feeling it was a really buildup that goes nowhere. the last battle is ridiculous. they do the circle spinning around and around just as a reference to the earlier circle at the Harvard graduation dance, but that's a ridiculous battle.

also, sometimes this movie seems like auteurism for auteurism's sake.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 07, 2016, 09:33:19 AM
Ah ok - so not the technical aspects such as the editing which n_l says he doesn't like, but rather the whole concept itself regardless of how well or poorly it is executed. I personally like the book-ending aspect of it and remember finding it well shot, but for now I'll just add it to my ever-growing list of films due a re-watch.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: T.H. on July 07, 2016, 12:19:12 PM
RIP

Am I the only fan of Year of the Dragon?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 07, 2016, 01:12:33 PM
Am I the only fan of Year of the Dragon?
Yes, you are. Congratulations.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 07, 2016, 07:40:06 PM
Yes, you are. Congratulations.

I'm a fan too -  as I believe is Noodles_leone.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 07, 2016, 08:22:56 PM
Wow - finally here is someone who actually gets Cimino:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-dissent-on-michael-cimino-1467840468
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 07, 2016, 08:50:03 PM
As I have said elsehwhere, when a movie is big and epic and sweeping cinematography and all that, it better be great. Plain good isn't good enough. Like if a girl wears a beautiful gown to a great big ball, it's wonderful; if a girl wears a beautiful gown to go to work on a Monday morning, it feels kinda ridiucilous.
Don't get me wrong; I don't think Heavens Gate was a bad movie. In fact, I rated it an 8/10 right after the one time I saw it; probably a bit too high. But anyway, ratings are tough for a movie like this - This movie has parts that are very very flawed and parts that are very very good. I would not call it a "flawed masterpiece." I'd call it a "wannabe masterpiece."
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 07, 2016, 10:40:32 PM
I haven't seen much of his other stuff but I also don't think I'm losing much.

I have to re-repeat myself: The Sunchaser (1996) is a very good movie - not without faults, but far far from bad.


R.I.P. Michael Cimino
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 07, 2016, 10:41:38 PM
But wasn't he living in France for the past 20 - 30 years?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on July 08, 2016, 04:48:02 AM
I'm a fan too -  as I believe is Noodles_leone.

Yes. Best break up scene EVER.

I have to re-repeat myself: The Sunchaser (1996) is a very good movie - not without faults, but far far from bad.

I'm trying my best not to read your comments, ever, but I'll follow this one and watch The Sunchaser asap.

But wasn't he living in France for the past 20 - 30 years?

It's very possible. I've read quite a few interviews by french media (while he had absolutely nothing "new" coming up) over the past years so he may have been around. If you can read in French, here is an interesting one that really shows how lost the guy was: http://www.sofilm.fr/interview-le-mythe-michael-cimino
Between his lies and his mislead theories, I don't think a single word from this article is right.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 09, 2016, 03:18:29 AM
It's very possible. I've read quite a few interviews by french media (while he had absolutely nothing "new" coming up) over the past years so he may have been around. If you can read in French, here is an interesting one that really shows how lost the guy was: http://www.sofilm.fr/interview-le-mythe-michael-cimino
Between his lies and his mislead theories, I don't think a single word from this article is right.

I can read French but I can't understand it. :D

Yes, I remember watching a couple of his interviews some time ago (following an appraising article in the local TV guide) and being shocked how everything around him seemed out of place (and space). There was no way of connecting any of his better directorial efforts to his (at the time) current image or whatever he was saying.  Actually, it crossed my mind whether he even was ''the director'' Michael Cimino, if such an entity ever even existed.

Anyhow, Michael Cimino did some truly unique great movies, as well as some capital misses. That seems a fair statement regarding his Hollywood career.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: T.H. on July 09, 2016, 03:16:42 PM
Haha thanks for having my back Novecento and noodles.




*******SPOILERS*********

This is such a good scene:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAAd7b6atLk&t=0m56s
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on July 10, 2016, 01:25:44 AM
If I ignore Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which is a Clint Eastwood film anyway, every film of Cimino is less good than the previous one, and The Sicilian is the watermark between good and bad. But I haven't watched Sunchaser yet, and it could be enthralling to see if this one can be worse than The Desperate Hours.

Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Rojo Ramone on July 11, 2016, 01:06:27 PM
Wow - finally here is someone who actually gets Cimino:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-dissent-on-michael-cimino-1467840468

I have a few minorquibbles with this article.
First is with this.
"Seen today, however, the film impresses one less for its insights into war or its acting than for the painstaking visual design used in depicting assorted locales and terrains, including a grand Russian Orthodox church, a fog-filled mountain range and the green, soggy depths of Vietnam."

I disagree that the visuals impress one most.
Of course this is subjective but for me it's the story and the performances given by the actors.
For me this film perfectly captures the 60's sobering of the "all you need is love" generation.
Sort of a 60's BIG CHILL MASSACRE.
I love how the tragedy effects everyone differently.
It's exactly like a real death in a family where some step up and others fall apart.

And then there's...
"Above all, Mr. Cimino’s films were the very opposite of “photographs of people talking”—to borrow Alfred Hitchcock’s pejorative description of films he deemed insufficiently cinematic."

Now I know he's arguing the fact that Cimino was no "one hit wonder" but this does give the impression people like Leone and Scorsese didn't paint or roam with a camera before him.

"One hit wonder" should never be used for someone with the talent of Cimino.
Who gives a crap on what's successful to others anyway?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 12, 2016, 08:07:05 PM
I've read quite a few interviews by french media (while he had absolutely nothing "new" coming up) over the past years so he may have been around. If you can read in French, here is an interesting one that really shows how lost the guy was: http://www.sofilm.fr/interview-le-mythe-michael-cimino
Between his lies and his mislead theories, I don't think a single word from this article is right.

It's not that crazy an article is it? What specifically did you have issue with?

But wasn't he living in France for the past 20 - 30 years?

I think he was. A while ago, I bought this book (essentially an extended interview) that was only published in French:

https://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=michael+cimino+thoret

I've also been meaning to buy this one for a while:

https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/2070313158/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1X6FK5RDHNB96

He also apparently published a novel in French too:

https://www.amazon.fr/Big-Jane-Michael-Cimino/dp/2070417603/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468378283&sr=1-3&keywords=michael+cimino

I think he got a lot of respect from people in France as a major artist / auteur. Given how the industry in his own country treated him, I'm not surprised he chose to move to France - I mean, everyone likes to have their ego stroked.

I disagree that the visuals impress one most.

Maybe so, but the visuals sure do make a huge impression.

And then there's...
"Above all, Mr. Cimino’s films were the very opposite of “photographs of people talking”—to borrow Alfred Hitchcock’s pejorative description of films he deemed insufficiently cinematic."

Now I know he's arguing the fact that Cimino was no "one hit wonder" but this does give the impression people like Leone and Scorsese didn't paint or roam with a camera before him.

I think it is rather saying just how visually talented Cimino was that he should be mentioned in the same breath as Leone rather than being treated as some irresponsible clown who got lucky once.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Rojo Ramone on July 13, 2016, 12:11:43 PM
I did imply I was nit-picking. :)

Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 13, 2016, 08:16:04 PM
Talented directors whose careers were defined by a film and then derailed by another film:

Michael Cimino: defined by "The Deer Hunter"; derailed by "Heaven's Gate"

Alex Cox: defined by "Repo Man"; derailed by "Walker"

Hugh Hudson: defined by "Chariots of Fire", derailed by "Revolution"


Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 13, 2016, 09:12:57 PM
Talented directors whose careers were defined by a film and then derailed by another film:

Michael Cimino: defined by "The Deer Hunter"; derailed by "Heaven's Gate"

Alex Cox: defined by "Repo Man"; derailed by "Walker"

Hugh Hudson: defined by "Chariots of Fire", derailed by "Revolution"





Chariots of Fire was such an overrated movie. Ditto for the music. Ugh actor Ben Cross is such crap. How could this ever be considered a great movie??????

I am not denying that the guy's career was defined by that movie. Just saying it's not a great thing to be defined by. Judging it on its own, whatever, it's a halfway alright movie. I think I gave it a 6.5/10 (just below my mark for a "good movie.") But because of how overrated it is, I just roll my eyes whenever I think of it.

Okay, we know that racism is bad, it hurts to be discriminated against and it's good for a person to stand up for what he believes in. In real life, wonderful. But not a very interesting movie topic. As we've discussed on these boards, the good guy fighting the injustice of a system is just not a great movie topic. It's why I am not excited about the upcoming movie LOVING, about the mixes-race couple who successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Virginia's ban on miscegenation in 1967. Incredible to think howvrecent 1967 was. Incredibly wrong for a gov't to make it a crime for a white person to cohabit with a black person. But the Good Guy Fighting Against An Unjust System, I just don't think that makes for a very good movie topic. And did I mention that Ben Cross, the actor who plays the Jew in Chariots of Fire (yes, a guy named Cross plays the Jew) is such an awful actor? And did I mention that Chariots of Fire is soooo overrated? And did I mention that a woman at work has that song as her cellphone ringtone, and makes me NUTS when her phone rings every ten minutes?

p.s. People should not be allowed to use ringtones in public. Just the classic ring. Ringtones for any song get annoying, no matter how good or bad the song is.

Oh, and did I mention, the dvd bonus features for Chariots of Fire has interviews with the director and composer, and they go on and on about how great the movie is and how great and groundbreaking the music is, respectively, and it just turned me off of the movie even more? And btw, the composer says he was the first to use the digital music or whatever it is that he uses, the keyboard or whatever, and then everyone copied him. But is he even correct about that? Didn't John Carpenter (of OUATITW commentary fame!) use it 5 years earlier in ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13? (Another overrated movie and overrated score)


Anyway, yeah, The Deer Hunter was a damn great movie  ;)
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 14, 2016, 07:36:08 PM
Chariots of Fire was such an overrated movie...

Technically "Revolution" is the superior film and, much like "Heaven's Gate", released at the wrong time to find an audience in the United States. Ironically one of the most technically brilliant scenes is not found in the director's cut because it involves a horribly corny Hollywood ending that was apparently forced on Hudson who then went and shot it like it was one of the most important scenes.

However, the "Chariots of Fire" story is incredibly powerful...

Okay, we know that racism is bad, it hurts to be disceiminated against and it's good for a person to stand up for what he believes in. In real life, wonderful. But not a very interesting movie topic. As we've discussed on these boards, the good guy fighting the injustice of a system is just not a great movie topic... But the Good Guy Fighting Against An Unjust System, I just don't think that makes for a very good movie topic.

Chariots of Fire is about two men, not one. It compares a Scottish Christian (Eric Liddle) with an English Jew (Harold Abrahams) and the battles, internal and external, that they must overcome in terms of their religious identities to compete in the last truly amateur Olympic games. It actually contains one of my all-time favorite movie lines:

"Jenny, I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast... And when I run I feel his pleasure."
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 14, 2016, 08:33:02 PM


However, the "Chariots of Fire" story is incredibly powerful...

Chariots of Fire is about two men, not one. It compares a Scottish Christian (Eric Liddle) with an English Jew (Harold Abrahams) and the battles, internal and external, that they must overcome in terms of their religious identities to compete in the last truly amateur Olympic games. It actually contains one of my all-time favorite movie lines:

"Jenny, I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast... And when I run I feel his pleasure."

Yes, Abrahams faces racism, Liddle faces a test of his religious convictions. I just don't find that sort of story interesting. I can empathize with people in those situations without liking the movie.

Also, in a movie about speed, is showing the races in super slo-mo such a good idea? Perhaps it's to mask that Cross is not a very fast runner; I seem to recall that in the scenes where you see him running at regular speed rather than slow-mo, he's actually not very quick.

And that line by Liddle, it's the one always quoted, but I don't find it that great. The actor that played Liddle was good, though. He died young, sad.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on July 15, 2016, 02:57:11 AM
It's not that crazy an article is it? What specifically did you have issue with?

A few examples from what I remember from the article:

- "Cinematographers are nothing more than cameramen" => lol.
- "I see all my movie in 3 dimensions long before I shoot it, I see how the actors move, I see exactly how I frame it, where the light is" => I don't believe it for a second. Some directors can/could do that. I think Hitchcock, Leone, Scorsese, Fincher are/were like that, for example. Not Cimino. His films, even his greatest ones (that are masterpieces) dont feel that crafted/mastered/precise. You can see that many scenes are shaped in post much more than in pre-production.
- "Nobody directed Anthony Hopkins before me" => lol.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 15, 2016, 10:34:16 AM
- "Cinematographers are nothing more than cameramen" => lol.

Yeh that one did make me smile. I mean the guy had Vilmos Zsigmond for The Deer Hunter and Heaven's Gate!!! Only one of the greatest cinematographers ever!! Interestingly, I remember reading an interview with Zsigmond where he maintained that Heaven's Gate would eventually be reevaluated and recognized as a great piece of work. It seems he was right about that.

- "I see all my movie in 3 dimensions long before I shoot it, I see how the actors move, I see exactly how I frame it, where the light is" => I don't believe it for a second. Some directors can/could do that. I think Hitchcock, Leone, Scorsese, Fincher are/were like that, for example. Not Cimino. His films, even his greatest ones (that are masterpieces) dont feel that crafted/mastered/precise. You can see that many scenes are shaped in post much more than in pre-production.

Hmmm.... I think he did rely on post-production a lot (who doesn't to a degree?) which is particularly so given how much film he shot. However, he was a true visual artist and I absolutely buy the argument that he saw in his mind exactly how he would shoot it.

- "Nobody directed Anthony Hopkins before me" => lol.

I agree - that sounds like his ego talking.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 15, 2016, 10:38:55 AM
Also, in a movie about speed, is showing the races in super slo-mo such a good idea? Perhaps it's to mask that Cross is not a very fast runner; I seem to recall that in the scenes where you see him running at regular speed rather than slow-mo, he's actually not very quick.

The slo-mo scenes with the Chariots of Fire score at the beginning and end have become a sports cliche now. Leone's gunslingers with twitching fingers and close-ups on their snarling faces have become a Western cliche. I think the fact that they became cliches says something about the power of the imagery.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: dave jenkins on July 15, 2016, 12:51:24 PM

And did I mention that a woman at work has that song as her cellphone ringtone, and makes me NUTS when her phone rings every ten minutes?

If I worked where you work that woman would be dead by now.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on July 15, 2016, 01:44:47 PM
The slo-mo scenes with the Chariots of Fire score at the beginning and end have become a sports cliche now. Leone's gunslingers with twitching fingers and close-ups on their snarling faces have become a Western cliche. I think the fact that they became cliches says something about the power of the imagery.


I am certainly not against slo-mo when used properly and not too much. But it seemed to me that there was too much of it here. Especially in a race that is supposed to show speed.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on July 18, 2016, 11:58:53 AM
Even the The Economist printed an obit:

http://www.economist.com/news/obituary/21702145-michael-cimino-film-maker-who-tasted-both-triumph-and-disaster-died-july-2nd-aged-77

I think he did rely on post-production a lot (who doesn't to a degree?) which is particularly so given how much film he shot. However, he was a true visual artist and I absolutely buy the argument that he saw in his mind exactly how he would shoot it.

For anyone who for some unfathomable reason neglected to purchase the Criterion BD of "Heaven's Gate", Criterion have just shared the following clip from the bonus features:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_BBOnbdvcQ
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Dust Devil on July 20, 2016, 02:03:08 AM
It's not that crazy an article is it? What specifically did you have issue with?

I think he was. A while ago, I bought this book (essentially an extended interview) that was only published in French:

https://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=michael+cimino+thoret

I've also been meaning to buy this one for a while:

https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/2070313158/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1X6FK5RDHNB96

He also apparently published a novel in French too:

https://www.amazon.fr/Big-Jane-Michael-Cimino/dp/2070417603/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1468378283&sr=1-3&keywords=michael+cimino

I think he got a lot of respect from people in France as a major artist / auteur. Given how the industry in his own country treated him, I'm not surprised he chose to move to France - I mean, everyone likes to have their ego stroked.

Nobody's a prophet in his own village. :)
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Alias on August 01, 2016, 02:42:40 PM
I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Morricone was asked to score Heaven's Gate, but fell asleep in the screening room. Shame. Wonder what the maestro would've come up with?
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on August 01, 2016, 06:43:49 PM
I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that Morricone was asked to score Heaven's Gate, but fell asleep in the screening room. Shame. Wonder what the maestro would've come up with?

 ;D Although, seriously, all the bashing Cimino suffered in his life was ridiculous. Slowly over time he will get the respect he deserves. In fact it's already happening and happily happened a little bit during his life time so he could witness it.

Fortunately Cimino's longtime collaborator David Mansfield did a fantastic job with the music.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on August 01, 2016, 07:47:56 PM
;D Although, seriously, all the bashing Cimino suffered in his life was ridiculous. Slowly over time he will get the respect he deserves. In fact it's already happening and happily happened a little bit during his life time so he could witness it.

Fortunately Cimino's longtime collaborator David Mansfield did a fantastic job with the music.

Cimino deserves every bit of the bashing he took - even if you think Heavens Gate is a masterpiece.

The stories of how he ran this movie, the insanely insane, that's not simply an artist meticulous with his craft; that's a mental case, an egotist. Tearing down an entire town set so that the street could be made one foot wider. Going over budget by untold millons, not having any regard for anything other than his own self - again, don't tell me it's about the art. It's about ego. Well, this dude got his ego handed right back to him.filmmakers have gone over-budget and over-schedule before, and yes, I'd call it dedication to artistic vision, but Heavens Gate is a whole other story. Whether you think the movie is great or awful, Cimino deserves to be bashed.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on August 02, 2016, 09:29:15 AM
Well maybe so, but...

1. Expecting creative people to care about budgets is a tall order. Making movies is all about the people watching the money keeping the people creating it in check.
2. I don't pay much attention to people's personalities or activities outside of the product they create in which I have an interest. Whether Cimino was a great guy or a jerk, or a combination of both, doesn't really matter to me. Having said that, I do find biographies interesting when they give a real insight into how someone's background/personality/upbringing etc shaped their craft.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on August 11, 2016, 09:01:48 AM
Michael Cimino: Wide Shot / https://vimeo.com/177463099
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: PowerRR on August 11, 2016, 03:20:58 PM
Michael Cimino: Wide Shot / https://vimeo.com/177463099
came across this earlier this week, beautiful work
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on August 19, 2016, 12:04:33 PM
The man had a great visual eye. He was clearly overstating his influence on cinematographers in the interview N_L linked to earlier, but there is little doubt that he must have maintained a very active dialogue with them throughout shooting. Certainly far more than many other directors.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on August 19, 2016, 05:26:17 PM
Yes. He constantly created very strong visuals, even in his weaker films.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: cigar joe on September 10, 2016, 06:07:04 PM
I just watched Year Of The Dragon for the first time, I like it better than Heaven's Gate.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: dave jenkins on September 12, 2016, 05:32:21 PM
http://www.bam.org/film/2016/desperate-hours-the-films-of-michael-cimino
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on November 05, 2016, 08:37:22 PM
Technically "Revolution" is the superior film and, much like "Heaven's Gate", released at the wrong time to find an audience in the United States. Ironically one of the most technically brilliant scenes is not found in the director's cut because it involves a horribly corny Hollywood ending that was apparently forced on Hudson who then went and shot it like it was one of the most important scenes.

However, the "Chariots of Fire" story is incredibly powerful...

I just watched "Finding Altamira". The film did not reach the lyricism of "Revolution", but there was some nice very cinematography by Alcaine on location.

The film cites Picasso's famous remark that "After Altamira, all is decadence". Interestingly, Alcaine himself has a theory that the 1932 film adapation of "A Farewell to Arms" inspired Picasso's "Guernica":

http://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/dias-de-cine/dias-cine-jose-luis-alcaine-cree-picasso-se-inspiro-adios-armas-para-guernica/1268475/

Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on January 29, 2017, 02:45:25 PM
If I ignore Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, which is a Clint Eastwood film anyway, every film of Cimino is less good than the previous one, and The Sicilian is the watermark between good and bad. But I haven't watched Sunchaser yet, and it could be enthralling to see if this one can be worse than The Desperate Hours.

I watched the supplemental feature on the French BD of "Desperate Hours" last night - some comments on the film by Jean-Baptiste Thoret. Thoret is of course the author of the book-long interview / travel-log "Michael Cimino - Les voix perdues de l'Amérique". As in the book, he did once again note the tension Cimino had with Rourke on-set (in spite of this being their third film together) along with the deleted 3-minute scene between the FBI director and Rourke's lover/lawyer that Cimino desperately fought to keep in but to no avail. Unless I misheard what Thoret said, I distinctly remember him saying that the scene was now lost (I'll have to go back and check), but certainly in the book Cimino says that he has a copy of the scene at home. Perhaps one day we will get to see it... perhaps it might also go someway to remedy Ebert's comment in his unnecessarily harsh review that the FBI agent "insists on masterminding a complex 'containment' scheme, which I believe she alone, of all the people in the film or in the audience, is capable of understanding."

As for the film itself, it is incredibly beautiful and stylishly shot. As Thoret points out, the juxtaposition of the confines of the house against the big Colorado outdoors is incredibly effective. Quoting from Ebert's review again that the film "shows Cimino with more style than substance" is probably true and certainly it's not a highly complex while remaining watertight plot, but that's not really the point of cinema is it? Go read a good novel is all I can say to that.

One more thing...

Noodles_leone, is it just me or is the French title "La Maison des otages" (The House of Hostages) a really bad title?

Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on January 29, 2017, 03:46:05 PM


As for the film itself, it is incredibly beautiful and stylishly shot. As Thoret points out, the juxtaposition of the confines of the house against the big Colorado outdoors is incredibly effective. Quoting from Ebert's review again that the film "shows Cimino with more style than substance" is probably true


I think it has neither style nor substance. It's a disaster on many levels.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on January 29, 2017, 06:20:56 PM
I think it has neither style nor substance. It's a disaster on many levels.

I'd recommend a re-watch then.

A criticism based on substance I can understand even if I don't particularly care, but not in terms of style. Even Ebert gave Cimino credit for the film's style! Whatever people may say about Cimino, he undoubtedly had a great eye for what made something visually incredibly effective even if he perhaps struggled in other areas.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 29, 2017, 11:46:26 PM
La Maison des Otages is indeed an absolutely terrible title. It always makes me cringe when I stumble into the DVD.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on January 30, 2017, 03:58:56 AM
I'd recommend a re-watch then.


I rewatched it a few years ago. It was worse than remembered. The hopeless nadir of a director who after The Deer Hunter (a 10er) made his way down with bold steps.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 30, 2017, 12:02:46 PM
I rewatched it a few years ago. It was worse than remembered. The hopeless nadir of a director who after The Deer Hunter (a 10er) made his way down with bold steps.

Meanwhile, the Lady From Shanghai is a a flaw-free masterpiece.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on January 30, 2017, 02:20:18 PM
Meanwhile, the Lady From Shanghai is a a flaw-free masterpiece.

It's maybe not flaw free, but it is definitely a masterpiece. It's plain fascinating. And it doesn't bore fore a single second.

And next to Johnny Guitar the dislike on this board for a generally appreciated film like this one, is pretty strange.

Unlike Cimino, Welles never lost his touch. Even a lesser Welles film is still a feast for the eyes, and that's of course not the only remarkable thing about any Welles film. And The Lady From Shanghai isn't one of his lesser films.

You like The Desperate Hours?

(Pleeease give the correct answer, it is not that difficult)
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on January 30, 2017, 02:51:29 PM
It's maybe not flaw free, but it is definitely a masterpiece. It's plain fascinating. And it doesn't bore fore a single second.

And next to Johnny Guitar the dislike on this board for a generally appreciated film like this one, is pretty strange.

Stanton, I was just about to write that I had lost all faith in you after siding with you so often, but then again I am also a fan of "The Lady from Shanghai"  ;D

Unlike Cimino, Welles never lost his touch. Even a lesser Welles film is still a feast for te eyes, and that's of course not the only remarkable thing about any Welles film. And The Lady From Shanghai isn't one of his lesser films.
Cimino did not lose his touch - Desperate Hours clearly shows that same visual flare. However, he did lose the support of unbiased critics.

You like The Desperate Hours?

(Pleeease give the correct answer, it is not that difficult)

What's not to like??

Ok so there are a couple of things, but overall it is a great viewing experience.

n_l, I'm counting on you, don't let me down...
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: cigar joe on January 30, 2017, 03:10:02 PM
And next to Johnny Guitar the dislike on this board for a generally appreciated film like this one, is pretty strange.

Johnny Guitar is STRANGE, WTF is there not to understand, to most American Western aficionados everything about it comes off as CAMPY, maybe the German translation gives it a different "aura", but to us it's a burlesque of a Western, almost a musical, it's as if at any moment the characters could start singing and dancing.  ;D
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Ringo on January 30, 2017, 04:15:37 PM
The things that work in Desperate Hours are the photography, the score, and the detour with David Morse. A worse director probably would have done the thriller parts better.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on January 31, 2017, 02:28:45 AM
Johnny Guitar is STRANGE, WTF is there not to understand, to most American Western aficionados everything about it comes off as CAMPY, maybe the German translation gives it a different "aura", but to us it's a burlesque of a Western, almost a musical, it's as if at any moment the characters could start singing and dancing.  ;D

Not as strange as Leone's westerns imo.
JG is clearly a western for cineastes, and like the ones by Leone and most other SWs, it is one which plays effectively with its stereotypes. No, I have really no idea why a majority of film lunatics should have problems with such a film.

But I like strange westerns, not all work of course, but in Europe Johnny Guitar is held in high regard since Truffaut praised the film. In a poll from 1966 asking 28 French critics for the 10 best westerns it was indeed JG which got the most citations. Followed by Rio Bravo and The Big Sky.
Btw Frayling or Phil Hardy had JG also in their best western lists (as quoted in Hardy's book)
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: cigar joe on January 31, 2017, 03:43:52 AM
Not as strange as Leone's westerns imo.
JG is clearly a western for cineastes, and like the ones by Leone and most other SWs, it is one which plays effectively with its stereotypes. No, I have really no idea why a majority of film lunatics should have problems with such a film.

But I like strange westerns, not all work of course, but in Europe Johnny Guitar is held in high regard since Truffaut praised the film. In a poll from 1966 asking 28 French critics for the 10 best westerns it was indeed JG which got the most citations. Followed by Rio Bravo and The Big Sky.
Btw Frayling or Phil Hardy had JG also in their best western lists (as quoted in Hardy's book)


It's for Western fairies, it depends on which team you play for.  ;)
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 31, 2017, 05:35:16 AM

You like The Desperate Hours?

(Pleeease give the correct answer, it is not that difficult)

n_l, I'm counting on you, don't let me down...

I'm gonna disappoint both of you: I have absolutely no memory of it. Not a single image. I have seen it twice. The second time, I launched the DVD because I thought I had never seen it.
So I've seen it twice and still don't remember anything.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: stanton on January 31, 2017, 05:39:32 AM

So I've seen it twice and still don't remember anything.

Quite reasonable ...
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on January 31, 2017, 07:54:40 AM
I'm gonna disappoint both of you: I have absolutely no memory of it. Not a single image. I have seen it twice. The second time, I launched the DVD because I thought I had never seen it.
So I've seen it twice and still don't remember anything.

A very diplomatic response  ;D

Quite reasonable ...

But then again, if it were really as bad as you describe it, surely he would have remembered something. Fantastic and terrible at the extremes tend to stick in our memories far more than run-of-the-mill mediocre.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: PowerRR on November 03, 2018, 06:25:49 AM
beautiful tribute to Cimino: https://vimeo.com/177463099
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on November 04, 2018, 05:13:06 AM
Thanks, N_L actually shared that earlier. Cimino was so visually talented. Undoubtedly one of the greatest IMO

By the way, for those who have't seen it, the short clip from Sunchaser at the 29 second mark occurs here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tFeYHOaCpk&feature=youtu.be&t=114
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on January 07, 2022, 09:18:24 PM
Looks like Jean-Baptiste Thoret has released a doc about Michael Cimino. I really liked Thoret?s ?road trip? book with Cimino, so this might be worth watching:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD-vxm3eJHo
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 08, 2022, 06:01:50 AM
It?s actually very disappointing. You?ll see people talk about Cimino, but as a whole it?s very much Thoret financing his own trip in the US and talking with friends. The book is muuuuch better, as are Thoret?s conferences on YouTube.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: Novecento on January 08, 2022, 08:17:08 PM
I see. That explains the trailer then. I might still watch it if it turns up on a streaming service I already subscribe to.
Title: Re: Michael Cimino (1939 - 2016)
Post by: noodles_leone on January 10, 2022, 04:30:15 PM
I'm gonna disappoint both of you: I have absolutely no memory of it. Not a single image. I have seen it twice. The second time, I launched the DVD because I thought I had never seen it.
So I've seen it twice and still don't remember anything.

Damn. 5 years later I was still thinking I hadn?t seen it and now I?m reading this message.