“If the film was formless at four hours, it was insipid at 140 minutes,” Roger Ebert wrote. “At either length it is so incompetently photographed and edited that there are times when we are not even sure which character we are looking at…”
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“…there are times when we are not even sure which character we are looking at…” And that, Mr. Ebert, was the point. It was a film about history and a collective of people. It was a film about privilege, corruption and power of the wealthy over poor immigrants. Here’s to Nick.
What I love about so many good movies back then is that stars and personalities (and star-laced plotting) were placed way down — sunken, almost, into the lower layers of the film. It was all about background and setting and implication. As untutored as he was, Cimino picked up on this from the zeitgeist. So did a lot of people.
Not today. Now it’s all close-ups and “me me me!” Just like bad TV.
I think the difference between now and then is that story and setting, music and editing were as much a character as the stars who performed. It was an amazing collaboration and many filmmakers of the time practiced it. Now anyone can make a movie without having experience, natural talent or respect for the audience. Sometimes, democratization (ie. inexpensive barriers to entry) can have negative consequences.
Horrible movie. It was on TV, I fell asleep, woke up and it was still on. Fell asleep again, it was so boring.
Heck, I thought Steven was on our School Board.
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