One of cinema’s most notoriously troubled productions and financial disasters, Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate as good as ended his career, as well as bringing down the venerable United Artists studio (for an entertaining and frank account of the full story, UA executive Steven Bach’s book Final Cut is highly recommended). This epic Western focuses on clashes between newly arriving settlers and the established land barons, the latter of whom augment the corrupt law enforcement agencies with hired mercenaries. Starring Kris Kristofferson, Isabelle Hupert, Christopher Walken, and John Hurt, the film now has a number of champions, and has justifiably begun to emerge from the shadow of its past. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
This event is part of our Films Maudits (cursed films) season running throughout August; focusing on films that have been unfairly maligned or overlooked on their original release. The term has it’s origins from a festival in 1949, curated by Jean Cocteau, amongst others, which celebrated these neglected and disregarded films.