Heaven’s Gate (1980): Minute by minute: part 27

26 May

Just when you thought it was safe to read a review, along comes part 27 of Mr A Godfrey’s intangible abstractions. Like a tangerine dream. Only bloggier.

27 of 229

Action! Excitement! Drama! Suspense! Romance! All elements that do not feature in this minute. The focus of this sixty-seconds is boots and getting your feet into them. James (Kristofferson) rolls around on the floor of the, (I must admit), beautifully lit train attempting to force his foot into a boot. It must be crammed full with something else like dreams, anxieties, melancholy or other such intangible abstractions. The lighting does steal the scene and I wonder why you’d go to all the effort creating that effect so you can portray a drunk man trying to put on his shoes. It probably took 4 hours to set-up the lighting and it’s a bit like assembling the world’s greatest cinematographer, set designer and lighting designer to recreate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon only to have your lead actor crap on the head of a cat. Incidentally, that is precisely what this scene needed.

Simon Godfrey

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