3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An object lesson in objective criticism,
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This review is from: Final Cut: Dreams and Disaster in the Making of "Heaven's Gate" (Hardcover)
I have always been fascinated by all the controversy and publicity (negative and otherwise) that has surrounded "Heaven's Gate" but had never actually seen the movie. I rectified this about a year ago when I watched the 219 minute version, and I have to confess to being slightly underwhelmed. However, my fascination remained and I decided to buy Steven Bach's book after reading the reviews on Amazon. I have subsequently read the book and I have to say that it is one of the finest pieces of objective reporting that I have ever encountered. Bach lived with the project for more than two years and was intimately connected with all the major players. His account of who, what, where, why and when is totally absorbing as he meticulously details the bloated excess and profligate waste that eventually brought Cimino's "epic" to the screen. To his credit, he at no time lays blame or points fingers, and attests right to the end that it was always Cimino's intention to make a masterpiece - whether he did or not will remain in the eye of the beholder.
There is a wealth of detail in Bach's book, and he relates his story with a reserved and dignified pragmatism that is to be admired when one considers that the whole debacle ultimately cost him his job. I would unreservedly recommend this book to anybody with an interest in the film industry, and certainly to those with an interest in the making and critical reception of "Heaven's Gate", a film that I intend to watch again to see if my opinion changes.
Excellent work Mr. Bach!