My old cyber-mucker Benjamin “Lucan” Halligan unhesitatingly chose this extract from Michael Cimino’s film maudit HEAVEN’S GATE as his moment of Cinema Euphoria.
But I’m not sure exactly what it is in the scene that affects him so — he hasn’t spelled it out for me. Let’s not worry about it, and just enjoy Miss Huppert and Mr. Walken (who has a winning way with a hat) and sleepy Mr. Kristofferson and Cimino’s slow, methodical pacing and elliptical style, which so upset the suits at United Artists (along with his going MASSIVELY over budget, admittedly).
My favourite story in Stephen Bach’s exasperated account of the film’s making, Final Cut, is the one about how Cimino’s perfectionism would obey its own perverse rules. When ace producer Denis O’Dell’s first name was misspelled with two Ns in the film’s credits, Cimino refused to have the title re-done. I’m inclined to agree with MC here: Dennis should have two Ns, damnit!
O’Dell, who worked alongside John Lennon on HOW I WON THE WAR, is also name-checked on the song You Know My Name (Look Up The Number), a Goon Show style comedy song which is the B side of the last ever Beatles single. He is referred to on it as “Denis O’Bell.”
Better luck next time, Dennis!