Heaven’s Gate Minute by Minute: 104 of 229

2 Oct

104 of 229

This scene is very serious. James and Nathan discuss Ella and the tension is well executed. The acting is superb, the shots well composed and the scene is lit perfectly. Unfortunately it’s all undone by a rather strange occurrence in the background. Through the window, behind the table where James and Nathan sit, is a juggler. They’re having a verbal stoush about Ella and outside is a man throwing around some batons.

Why it was felt this scene needed some distant juggling, is beyond me. It’s right next to James’ head. What on Earth were they thinking?

“The scene is a little dry, better place a circus performance in the background to jazz it up.”

Was there a creative process that lead to this decision? Did the 2nd assistant director believe batons would have more emotional impact than balls? Was there discussion of what type of circus act should be through the window? Was a lion tamer thought to be too impractical?

Goodness! What if there’s been a street performance in the backdrop of every key sequence and I’ve just not noticed. The tiny clown car on the horizon when Nathan shot the cattle thief makes a lot more sense now.

Seriously, why is he juggling?! Consideration went into placing him there. A person was paid to juggle in a western! Why?! At least he’s not on roller skates.


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