"Heaven's Gate", from Tuna
Tuna wrote the
commentary, and I agree with it completely:
Heaven's Gate, at 3
hours and 40 minutes, was a daunting project. The
1981 film by director Michael Cimino was made by
United Artists giving him full artistic control
and an unlimited budget. It came out at $36
Million, which was a huge amount then. The film
was panned by the critics to the point that it
was withdrawn from the theaters after two weeks.
United Artists spent another $4 Million for
Cimino to shorten it by an hour, and the
shortened version also bombed. This film is
credited with effectively ending Cimino's career
(probably true), ruining United Artists
(possible) and causing studios to exercise more
control over all of their projects.
Criticisms included the
pace of the film, the length, the lack of plot,
the lack of character development, and the fact
that much of the dialogue was in foreign
languages and hence unintelligible. It is the
story of a Cattleman's Association deciding to
wipe out immigrant settlers with government
approval under the pretext of cattle theft. This
settlers fought back, and the incident is known
as the War of Johnson's County.
So much for the
background. Was this really one of the worst
films of all time? No, not in my opinion. The
acting was good, a stark naked Isabelle Huppert
(including frontals) added spice, and the
photography was wonderful. There is not a lot of
plot, and very little character development, but
the basic story could have made a good film. The
film is painfully slow, however, and editing
can't fix it. There is no single 10 minute
segment that doesn't seem slow. Even the nude
scenes drag. Also, there are lengthy scenes that
do not accomplish anything.
In the last analysis,
what keeps this from the all-time worst list for
me is the historically accurate visual montages
that Cimino created.
The film itself was
probably not treated well, and the quality of the
DVD release could be better, but with a lot of
effort, I managed many enlarged images of
Isabelle that I am happy with.
(#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25, #26, #27, #28, #29, #30, #31, #32, #33, #34, #35, #36, #37)
Jarman's "The Tempest" from Johnny Web
Derek Jarman thought of
himself as a great artist, and maybe he was. He
was famous for making arty underground stuff with
a strong homoerotic aesthetic. This version of
Shakespeare is no exception. I guess the
difference between a Jarman and a Zefferelli,
both of whom did Shakespearean interpretations in
the 70's, is that Zefferelli thought about how
Shakespeare would have done it if he were there.
Jarman did it his way. He figured words were
Shakespeare's bag, but he himself was a great
visual artist. The title of the movie is not
"William Shakespeare's The Tempest",
but Derek Jarman's.
He also edited
Shakespeare. The credits read "written by:
Derek Jarman, William Shakespeare". Kinda
says it all doesn't it? I'm planning Uncle
Scoopy's Hamlet right now, written by Uncle
Scoopy, additional dialogue by Bill Shakespeare.
Here's part of my re-write. "To be or not to
be, that is the question (Slurping noises from
Ophelia between his legs.) Oh, to be isn't so
bad. Yes, definitely to be. Oh to be, to be. Oh,
yes, yes, yes, oh my god, to be"
You are going to think I
made this next bit up, but every word of it is
true. The finale of the movie features a musical
number in which an aging female chanteuse sings
the 20th century song "Stormy Weather"
(It's a tempest, get it?), while a bunch of
sailors prance around her in about the swishiest
dance number I've ever seen. (Picture below, just
because you'll never believe me without it.) Oh,
brave new Shakespeare, that has such people in't.
The movie is visually
stunning, and there is a ton of nudity, but most
of it is men, ala Peter Greenaway. This is the
one attractive woman that got naked, Toyah
Wilcox. I guess from her IMDb credits that she
must be fairly recognizable in the UK, although I
don't know her. Anyway, if you know who she is,
here's what she looked like 20 years ago without
her top. Pretty damned good, actually. Guess
which font I used to type the words on these
collages? Remember, it's the Tempest. Of course I
And this is, without any
question, the ugliest woman I've ever seen. You
know that woman in the Dutch soap opera that FR
likes to cap every once in a while? The one with
the massive cleavage and the face like Bubba
Smith? Well this woman makes her look like JACQUELINE
And here is that crazy musical number
that ends the movie.
"Body Shots" movies from Mr Skin
These are the six video
clips of Tara Reid in "Body Shots". If
time is pressing, go to #5 and #6.
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)