Sunday, 3 July 2016

OBIT - MICHAEL CIMINO


Acclaimed and iconic, filmmaker Michael Cimino has died. He passed yesterday, the 2nd of July 2016, at his home in Los Angeles. He was 77 years of age. One of the brightest lights in the 'New Hollywood' of the 1970s, Cimino's success truly flourished after he abandoned the commercial populism of his earlier work and made one of the most influential films of the decade. 1978's celebrated The Deer Hunter is often regarded as his magnum opus, and won five Oscars. Alas, 1980's Heaven's Gate, which came in highly delayed and over-budget, was a huge box office bomb, almost led to the collapse of its studio, United Artists, and was branded one of the worst films of all time by some critics upon release. Subsequent re-evaluation of the film, and its several re-edits, has seen a reversal in its perception, and it is now considered a misunderstood masterpiece. But the damage to Cimino's ascendant career had been done; his following four films all disappointed critics and tanked with audiences; there were Razzie nominations and straight-to-video releases, and he hadn't made a full-length feature since 1996 when he died. Despite such an ignominious middle and end to his career, Cimino will nevertheless be remembered as a visionary, a bold and distinctive talent who created some of the most essential films of the 20th Century. He will be missed indeed.