124 Great Directors: Michael Cimino

“I don’t make movies intellectually, I don’t make movies to make a point, I make movies to tell stories about people.”

What Got This Director Here?
: Deer Hunter/Heaven’s Gate.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Deer Hunter.

What Did I Watch: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot.

Where Does He Fit: Michael Cimino’s career is like that of a homeless man who was shaken for his change, violently losing everything he had even when it feels small. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot is a caper that just feels alien: it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere on a plot level, but the cast is selling it hard via sheer force of personality. It’s a little scary how Clint Eastwood is clearly much older than Jeff Bridges in this, yet they’re both still around and they look a lot less far off from one another in terms of age guesses. The scenario unfolds like a stoner comedy, but hey, it was the kind that succeeded and launched him ever so briefly into the stratosphere, where his talents were given more money than they needed.


Most Valuable Asset: Obsession with the American people.
Most Excited For: Heaven’s Gate.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes, although he’s too high.

Coming Up Next: The French New Wave’s sole female representative, Agnes Varda.


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