Review: Heavens Gate (1980): Minute by minute…by minute.

15 Jul

6 minutes down and no sign of fatigue. But who can fall asleep when there is this much anticipation? Simon continues his lauded celluloid odyssey through a Micheal Cimino’s maligned celluloid odyssey, Heaven’s Gate.

6 of 229

The terminus of the marchers is revealed – It’s a hall of some description. Finally, the band leads the hat throwing hollering idiots to their destination. The horn players, to their credit, seem incredibly focused. I wonder how much the band would be paid for performing in that procession? Are they employed by the university on a permanent basis? More likely they’re a student band who are happy performing to gain experience. They’d probably won the regional battle of the marching bands in the summer of 1869 and are building their reputation and stage time. If I had to criticise the musicians, I’d suggest they expand their repertoire. I don’t think I could listen to another second of Battle Hymn of the Republic. They could have played something by Chuck Berry, perhaps? Or even Philip Glass or Julian Lennon. There was not one banjo either. When I arrive as part of a procession at a hall, stadium, youth club, chamber or community centre, I like to be heralded by at least three banjo players and a lute player who doesn’t play the instrument, but rather smashes it across the heads of the banjo players. As you can tell by my in depth analysis of the Harvard band, this is a minute of film that could have been cut from Heaven’s Gate if Michael hadn’t been padding to make the film an acceptable length. These thousand reel pictures are so hard to fill out…

heavens gate 6

It's quite intimidating being marched at.

Read the rest of simons Heaven’s Gate review by clicking the link at the top of the screen.



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