Simply put, very likely.
While Michael Cimino may be best known for his masterwork The Deer Hunter, it’s his biggest ‘failure’ that may forever be synonymous with his name, Heaven’s Gate. Not only a box office bomb, the film ushered the end of an entire era of American filmmaking, and with all of this baggage, including critical failure at its time of release, Criterion may very well add it to its ever growing ranks relatively soon.
The hounds over at The Criterion Forum took note of an AMIA/The Reel Thing conference panel set for August, featuring Criterion’s Lee Kline, in which the title is ‘Case Study ‘“ Reconstructing and Restoring Heaven’s Gate.’Need we say more? Well, actually, yes.
A newly restored print of the film will screen in Venice, in the form of a 219-minute cut, with the director himself set to appear. Who is on the press release as credited with the restoration? Criterion. Boom.
Venice will also be screening restored versions of films like Welles’ Chimes At Midnight, Bergman’s Fanny And Alexander and Wilder’s Some Like It Hot, so while TIFF may have gotten headlines earlier this week, Venice seems to be primed to steal them. Criterion’s release of Gate has been one that’s always been discussed about, but with absolutely little to no backing, at least nothing more than wishful thinking. I haven’t had the chance to see the film, so I can’t speak to its overall quality, but I can definitely say that it will be one of the Collection’s most talked about releases, and one that I really can’t wait to see what they’ll do with.