Monday, 23 October 2017

Heaven's Gate


I’ve been spoilt for choice when it comes to candidates for my review this month. The sequel to Ridley Scott’s landmark neo-noir in Denis Villeneuve’s tragically de-fanged Blade Runner 2049 was ripe for roasting, but I feel so exhausted by this year’s river of critical dissolution in the face of big pictures that ripping on something as unreservedly acclaimed as 49 would just be an extension of my review for Dunkirk: A disappointing step back into harmful comfort for Christopher Nolan just as Villenueve has further diluted the incendiary drive that made his Canadian productions so imposing. And it is in this climate of mostly harmless Hollywood blockbusters that I find myself reminded of the tragedy that doomed us all to this desolate expanse of plain, artless features with the occasional peppering of smart-arsed ‘auteurs’ execs nab out of the indie darlings and plug into massive projects they soon realize they were wrong about dreaming about. The dreams of these directors drive the last sparks of passion and promise in Now Hollywood and I think it’s a crying shame that the machine seems geared to grind these glowing ideals into mulch… but it was these same aspirations of complete creative control that forced the hand of survivalist cynicism for the American film industry- one that drowned a decade of movies in Über-consumerist focus before the independent movement finally began to blossom by the end of the eighties. All of this sets the cross-hairs on an inescapable question: Was Heaven’s Gate worth it?