Heaven’s Gate marked the end of personal filmmaking

by Peter D. Marshall

from Movie Forums.

I earnestly believe (as well as numerous others) that Heaven’s Gate marked the end of personalised filmmaking in American cinema. The repercussions of that prodigious flop is still conspicuous across the industry today, and it is a real shame. Prior to Cimino’s ambitious and consequential film, filmmakers in large to moderate funded American projects were given a greater deal of – what I see as – artistic creativity.

Producers were less invasive on set and studio interference was much more infrequent. Two of America’s most prominent filmmakers, Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, have personally subscribed to this notion, saying they were given much more flexibility in their 70s projects as opposed to those they worked on a decade later.

This is partially why Scorsese distanced himself away from large-scale projects in the 80s and worked on smaller pieces, whereas Coppola was working off the disastrous ramifications of One from the Heart. Woody Allen, too, was forced to reshape his focuses, as well as various other filmmakers.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dwayne April 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Tell it to Spike Lee or Jim Jarmusch and a plethora of other independents working with Hollywood. Has nobody seen an Alexander Pane film, not to mention Malick? I disagree with the idea that Woody Allen is not making personal films as well and he never made a huge budgeted film to begin with. He stars in everyone regardless if he’s on-screen or not–that’s personal is it not. While Heaven’s Gate was certainly a factor in making Hollywood execs gun-shy on the big budget autuer director, the culprit is Star Wars and how it changed the mindset on how to market and profit from films. Don’t blame Cimino, blame Lucas.

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