Heaven’s Gate” is a numbing shambles. It’s a movie you want to deface; you want to draw mustaches on it, because there’s no observation in it, no hint of anything resembling direct knowledge—or even intuition—of what people are about. It’s the work of a poseur who got caught out.
After the early acclaim, The Deer Hunter has been subjected in recent months to an extraordinarily coarse and brutal hazing. Everywhere one encounters people convinced that the movie is racist or fascist, while in the press indignant critics compete with one another in manic overstatement.
I submit that, if we are going to be moved to thought and action by The Deer Hunter, it ought to be by the implications of its true subject: the limitations for our society of the traditions of male mystique, the hobbling by sentimentality of a community that, after all the horror, still wants the beeriness of “God Bless America” instead of a moral rigor and growth that might help this country.
The Deer Hunter has created such controversy as a political entity that I think it would be valuable to consider it, briefly, purely as an aesthetic object. Certainly art affects us in many ways, but many of these effects are brought to the film by ourselves.
Da Nang è lontana da Montelepre. La storia di Salvatore Giuliano e la guerra del Vietnam non si consumano sotto lo stesso cielo. Ma, forse, le traiettorie della “blindatissima” Full Metal Jacket e la parabola fatale del Siciliano attraversano lo “stesso” cinema.
The Deer Hunter is a brilliant epic about the simple things of life. To its director Michael Cimino they are ‘friendship, courage, dignity, grace’ and through them the movie’s Vietnam veterans turn into Homeric heroes. Chris Auty pays his respects, but wonders if this catalogue of rituals hasn’t tried to make time stand still.
Something ominous has been going on since The Deer Hunter first made its appearance, and especially since it won an Academy Award: Certain activist groups, in an unfortunate misunderstanding of the film, have protested it as a kind of racist document that, as a New York Post article summarized it, “ . . . contrasts the innocence of American GIs . . . with the savage Vietnamese enemy they meet on the battlefield.”
It is hard to think of a recent American film which has been as classically and persistently misread as The Deer Hunter.
This excruciatingly violent, three-hour Viet Nam saga demolishes the moral and ideological cliches of an era: it shoves the audience into hell and leaves it stranded without a map.
The Deer Hunter has done what The Green Berets could not do more than a decade ago: it has moved audiences to actively root for the American military fighting the Vietnam war.
Look who’s back with a new movie: The Deer Hunter made Michael Cimino a winner, but his next film was the legendary failure Heaven’s Gate. With Desperate Hours, the stakes have never been higher.
“Look, the film is not realistic — it’s surrealistic. Even the landscape is surreal. For example, the little steel town we called Clairton is composed of eight different towns in four states. You can’t find that town anywhere — it doesn’t exist. And time is compressed.
For all its pretensions to something newer and better, this film is only an extension of the old Hollywood war-movie lie. The enemy is still bestial and stupid, and no match for our purity and heroism; only we no longer wipe up the floor with him—rather, we litter it with his guts.
C’è un patto di non aggressione tra la polizia e gli «anziani» della comunità cinese di Chinatown. Ma quando al posto dell’opimo William McKenna arriva l’agile Stanley White le cose cambiano.
I cancelli del cielo si aprono sull’inferno. Il film è il crack economico più disastroso di tutti i tempi e gode di un efferato ostracismo critico indigeno
Morando Morandini recensisce “Il cacciatore” di Michael Cimino
Vincent Canby reviews Michael Cimino’s “The Deer Hunter” for The New York Times, December 15, 1978
Cimino fa sollevare le comunità cinesi d’America per la sua ritrattistica di una mafia gialla che tesaurizza tutta l’iconografia hollywoodiana in materia, da Fu Manchu in poi
Intervista a Michael Cimino realizzata da Marc Chevrie, Jean Narboni e Vincent Ostria, Cahiers du Cinéma n. 377
Intervista di Herb Lightman pubblicata in American Cinematographer n. 11, novembre 1980
This interview with Michael Cimino by Mark Patrick Carducci took place on the set of The Deer Hunter in Mingo, Pennsylvania, in July 1977