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: The Deer Hunter (1978)  ( 52103 )
Groggy
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« #75 : August 13, 2009, 05:18:54 AM »

EDIT: oh wait. I did see this. :o
And I remember not liking it very much.
In fact, I hated it. I hated so goddamn much I blocked it from my memory.

Lucky you.



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« #76 : August 13, 2009, 08:29:23 AM »

Wow this is getting so heated, I thought I would chime in with my thoughts too...

It's not only that it's long and boring; it goes out of its way to insult the intelligence of its audience. I find the wine-droplet-hitting-the-wedding-dress foreshadowing so heavy-handed as to be offensive.

Ok, but bear in mind that it is a traditional belief that the bride should not spill a drop of wine because it portends bad luck.

I long for these film makers who didn't care really about plot but sometimes just give you 'scenes'...

Me too!

... the emotional impact of DEER HUNTER just works.
If you don't look after accuracy too much and more let it into your emotional side of the brain.

Right, personally I am a sucker for films with a combination of excellent directorial camera use and cinematography regardless of the plot; Leone and Tonino delli Colli are excellent examples of this. Consequently "Heaven's Gate", which is the only other Cimino film I have seen, is for me a better film than "The Deer Hunter". My feelings seem to go against almost every critic who turned on Cimino after lauding "The Deer Hunter".

Most critics treat movies like novels; they tend to ignore the art of movie-making to focus more on plot and character-development. Then they complain when a movie adaptation is not a patch on the novel on which it is based! Well, what did they expect? You can't read a 400 page novel in the time it takes to watch a movie!

In many ways the art of cinema is dead. It now serves two basic extremes: entertaining people who don't want to read a good book but do want to see exhilarating fast cuts and shaking cameras; supplying "art-house" movies based on the concept that a film should be nothing more than a bunch of beautiful photographs that leaves the viewer with what is essentially a photo album on a screen.

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« #77 : August 13, 2009, 09:06:11 AM »

Nice statement.

Not 'heated' though I think.
Actually that's why I joined this forum here in the first place. It's great to have & hear
different opinions. I only ended one friendship in 30 years because of a film (a friend saw WILD BUNCH with
us in '95, HUGE SCREEN! - and hated it. He started talking and we threw him out. Never spoke to him again :)

I like Groggys website a lot. And we share a lot of favorites!

I only have to speak up when cinematic achievements like CUCKOOS NEST (how much better can you make a film?)
and DEER get a beating, I think they don't deserve.

It is also always a question of how & when (your age) you see a film. I was happy to grow up in a theatre from 1976-1985
so I see a lot of stuff  these days with the fact cemented, that those films influenced me heavily.

Another holy cow of mine is Douglas Sirk. Groggy has no connection with the Sirk (Sierck being his real German name).
He saw only ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (I guess?) and just recently. Too appreciate Sirk one must dive deep
into his world. The right mood is essential too. And consider a few facts, for ex. the over-scoring of those films.
A process done by the studios until the late 60's with the directors watching helplessly.
Many films of those decades suffer from that corny 'score any scene, any laugh & the rest too..' approach by the studios.

« : August 13, 2009, 09:07:43 AM mike siegel »


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« #78 : August 13, 2009, 05:29:43 PM »

Another holy cow of mine is Douglas Sirk. Groggy has no connection with the Sirk (Sierck being his real German name).
He saw only ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS (I guess?) and just recently. Too appreciate Sirk one must dive deep
into his world. The right mood is essential too. And consider a few facts, for ex. the over-scoring of those films.
A process done by the studios until the late 60's with the directors watching helplessly.
Many films of those decades suffer from that corny 'score any scene, any laugh & the rest too..' approach by the studios.
Sirk has his good films and his many, many bad films. I like ATHA and The Tarnished Angels and a few others, but I loath stuff like Captain Lightfoot, Sign of the Pagan, and Taza, Son of Cochise. And even a film like Magnificent Obsession loses much of its luster when compared to its earlier, superior version. It doesn't make sense to venerate directors, but it is worth giving accolades to individual films of merit.

« : August 13, 2009, 10:53:55 PM dave jenkins »


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« #79 : August 13, 2009, 09:55:16 PM »

Listen, Joe...I, oh Joe, Joe...

That's the Midnight Cowboy, cowboy. Not The Deer Hunter.

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« #80 : August 14, 2009, 02:36:55 AM »

Sirk has his good films and his many, many bad films. I like ATHA and The Tarnished Angels and a few others, but I loath stuff like Captain Lightfoot, Sign of the Pagan, and Taza, Son of Cochise. And even a film like Magnificent Obsession loses much of its luster when compared to its earlier, superior version. It doesn't make sense to venerate directors, but it is worth giving accolades to individual films of merit.

He had to find his significant subjects and language in the USA first. He wasn't as intigrated as Zinnemann, Wyler or Wilder.
He was a hired hand at Universal. With that it is a matter of working and surviving - you really couldn't choose your film - they gave you
what was next in line: Westerns, Historical stuff, Pirate movies... He had other working conditions as Wyler,Wilder or Stevens who worked
for the bigger studios.

With MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION  he had a major hit, 'invented' Hudson as real actor and went on to make fantastic work over
the next 6 years before he retired. WRITTEN ON THE WIND, TARNISHED ANGELS, IMITATION OF LIFE, A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE.
He smuggled in so much stuff, to read about that was among my best experiences studying film making.



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« #81 : August 14, 2009, 05:35:01 AM »

It doesn't make sense to venerate directors,

Then what are you doing on the SLWB? :D



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« #82 : August 14, 2009, 09:05:04 AM »

Because SL is an exception. I thought that was obvious.



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« #83 : August 14, 2009, 09:39:23 AM »

He had to find his significant subjects and language in the USA first.
That's the party line. It ignores the fact that he made some very respectable films noir in the 40s. So when he got to Hollywood he made good films, then lost that ability, then regained it, all due to the kind of material he was assigned? Sorry, I'm not buying.

Quote
He was a hired hand at Universal.

He wasn't the only one.
Quote
With that it is a matter of working and surviving - you really couldn't choose your film - they gave you
what was next in line: Westerns, Historical stuff, Pirate movies...

The experience was apparently a common one. It didn't keep men of talent from doing good work. Our best films were produced out of unpromising material in the threadbare crime and Westerns genres.
Quote
He had other working conditions as Wyler,Wilder or Stevens who worked
for the bigger studios.
But why compare with those guys who were clearly exceptions, recognized talents who were given their heads by their respective studios? Fairer comparisons would be with those other imports who made good in spite of studio indifference: John Brahm, John Alton, et. al.

Quote
With MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION  he had a major hit, 'invented' Hudson as real actor and went on to make fantastic work over
the next 6 years before he retired. WRITTEN ON THE WIND, TARNISHED ANGELS, IMITATION OF LIFE, A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE.
On your view Sirk kept getting better and better, but ATTLAATTD isn't his best picture. And again, IOL is a remake, and does not compare favorably with the original.

Sirk had talent, but I don't see him as an auteur. With the help of great cinematography and the Universal art department he occasionally produced some impressive visuals. ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS is his best film, largely because it can be read ironically or as camp. But I doubt very much that Sirk intended the film to be viewed that way. He just got lucky. If you swing at enough pitches, you eventually connect.




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« #84 : August 14, 2009, 10:08:20 AM »

Because SL is an exception. I thought that was obvious.

Any other exceptions?

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« #85 : August 14, 2009, 10:11:11 AM »

Quote
ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS is his best film, largely because it can be read ironically or as camp. But I doubt very much that Sirk intended the film to be viewed that way. He just got lucky.

I have to agree with this, although you obviously enjoyed the film a lot more than me. I didn't see anything remotely satirical about ATHA, merely an obnoxiously drippy melodrama. Sirk claimed otherwise later in life but it's quite likely that he read some of the revisionist critics and started to believe the hype.

What this has to do with The Deer Hunter, I'll never know...

« : August 14, 2009, 10:15:20 AM Groggy »


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« #86 : August 14, 2009, 11:11:51 AM »

I have to agree with this, although you obviously enjoyed the film a lot more than me. I didn't see anything remotely satirical about ATHA, merely an obnoxiously drippy melodrama. Sirk claimed otherwise later in life but it's quite likely that he read some of the revisionist critics and started to believe the hype.
Your take is close to my own. There is some satire in the piece, though, for example, the sub-sub-plot about the TV set (which is funny coming from a movie studio). I think the bits with the kids is well handled: they are concerned about what their mother is getting up to . . . until they're not. Ah, youth, so fickle, so easily distracted.

Finally, it has to be said that the film is ironic because it pretends to be making a social statement (do what you will, society be damned) while all the time pandering to the suppressed desires of its original matronly audience (let a million Cougars pounce). High toned trash can be amusing.



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« #87 : August 14, 2009, 11:16:05 AM »

Guess I mentioned Sirk because I read your review the day I read the one on DEER HUNTER.

To understand a directors career one must study the work in its entirety.
Of course he made good stuff before the famous melodramas.
He did before the war in Germany. He did in the US.
I was referring to the mid-50's, not the 40's.

But it is obvious that he grew on the melodrama which he never
took that serious. Because of the working conditions too. ALL THat HEAVEN ALLOWS
ended in his version with Hudson's death. An impossible love. More drama than melodrama.
Universal forced him to film the happy couch ending.

He bgot more power and the films became straighter: WRITTEN - no compromises. Bad spoiled children,
one dies, the other is left with the oil and no love. The innocent women
loses a child and the 'hero' leaves the place disgusted.  TARNISHED: No compromises either.

Same with Remarques A TIME TO LOVE. He wasn't for corny stuff. Fassbinder made him his hero
later on and Sirk said he probably had been better off in the 'New Hollywood' era making uncompromised
films.

« : August 14, 2009, 11:19:51 AM mike siegel »


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« #88 : August 14, 2009, 04:39:43 PM »

ALL THat HEAVEN ALLOWS
ended in his version with Hudson's death. An impossible love. More drama than melodrama.
Universal forced him to film the happy couch ending.
Huh, I didn't know that. That would have made the film better, perhaps, but then we wouldn't have had the kitschy deer in the picture window at the end. That deer is emblematic of the entire film.



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« #89 : August 15, 2009, 05:28:41 PM »

That deer is emblematic of the entire film.
See, Grogs, if you wait long enough, the relevance of the digression to the topic finally emerges.



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