You’ve got to hand it to Steven Soderbergh, even when he’s fake-retired he seems to have a lot of time on his hands. First he cut together a seamless mashup of both the Alfred Hitchcock and Gus Van Sant versions of Psycho, and now over on his blog “Extension 765” the director posted his own edit of Michael Cimino’s 1980 film maudit Heaven’s Gate he calls “The Butcher’s Cut. Cimino’s own unwieldy runtime of 216 minutes has been trimmed to a comparatively brisk 108 minutes, and, among other things, excises the entirety of the film’s original Harvard-set prologue.
Using his editorial nom de plume post, “Mary Ann Bernard,” at the end of the post Soderbergh explains, “As a dedicated cinema fan, I was obsessed with Heaven’s Gate from the moment it was announced in early 1979, and unfortunately history has show that on occasion a fan can become so obsessed they turn violent toward the object of their obsession, which is what happened to me during the holiday break of 2006. This is the result.”
There is no embed of the edit that Soderbergh calls “immoral and illegal,” so you’ll have to head over here to check it out.