Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: Part 48 of 229

11 Feb

48 of 229

Basset Horn

Is Count Harriet Mensworth-Smithe going to stop the Stock Growers Association from slaughtering cattle thieves as though they were… cattle? Probs not, is the answer. (I’m paraphrasing.) This telling moment is underscored by a solemn, stripped back acoustic guitar rendition of the Blue Danube. The minimalist music is in stark contrast to every single other aspect of the production. If the music were to match the epic nature of the rest of the film, it would be recorded by a 12,047 piece orchestra, conducted by everyone who’s ever conducted (living or dead), and feature instruments from all over the known universe, including long forgotten instruments such as the basset horn and completely invented instruments such as the shoe-bow.

Why the Blue Danube? I’ve no idea. Perhaps it’s a bizarre reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey and the movie is about to match cut from a billiard table in the 19th century a few thousand years into the future to a space billiard deck of the 23rd century. I saw one of those at a World’s Fair in the sixties. The astronauts looked as though they were having fun, but I noted they were chalking the ends of their cues before each shot. Surely if you’ve the capability to shoot pool in space, you could invent a cue tip with enhanced grip. Hang on, how on Earth did I get to see a World’s Fair in the sixties? Oh yes, that’s right; Fred gave me a lift.

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