Steven Bach: Final CutArt Money and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate the Film That Sank United Artists



Ebook Epub Final CutArt Money and Ego in the Making of Heaven's Gate the Film That Sank United Artists – cafe1919.org

A long look at the chaotic making of Heaven s Gate and the downfall of a Hollywood studio Stephen Bach s Final Cut is absorbing detailed and messy After all the downfall of United Artists is often blamed on the singular failure of Gate but as Bach s book shows there was a lot it than just thatThe book offers several points where had UA acted differently they might still be in business They range from verything from the uniue contract they gave Gate writer and director Michael Cimino to a string of OBaby executives leaving the company to a number of risky but high yield bets failing on them They weren t just gambling on Gate being a success they were hoping it d be part of a number of successful movies And nothing uite panned out But maybe it wouldn t have made a difference if these pictures did get made and were successful UA as Bach paints it was a chaotic organization headed by a CEO who didn t inspire his underlings and was marred by in fighting betweenxecutives who constantly complained about being undercut and conspired against It s sometimes hard to keep track of who s who in Final Cut because so many people uit get fired or just change jobs Those coming to Final Cut looking for a detailed look at the making of Gate will be a little disappointed It s a book about how one of the major players in Hollywood fell apart and was sold It s not a behind the scenes look at a movie although it does have the occasional glance like Cimino banning people from the set working long hours and shooting millions of feet of film and relentlessly battling Nerds executives over his schedule and budget All in all Final Cut is a fascinating look at the inner workings of a movie company how it interacts with the bosses with directors and producers and how in so many words the sausage gets made Recommended for film fans After seeing a reissued director s cut version of Heaven s Gate the movie soxpensive to produce and so poorly received by the critics in 1980 that it destroyed Michael Cimino s reputation as a director and led to the demise of United Artists I sought out this book by one of the United Artist producers involved in the project and who also lost his job in the aftermath It s a fascinating story How could Ciminio who had just come from making The Deer Hunter which netted him Academy Awards for best picture and best director have created such a mess Heaven s Gate vastly Zack (Areion Fury MC exceeded its budget was visually spectacular but had a poor sound track and story itself verged on incoherence at times Why did United Artists let him do it This book tells the story in great detail and Steven Bach was a fine writer The most interesting parts however the Cimino story gets lost from time to time in Bach sfforts to paint a comprehensive picture of United Artist s glorious history it was founded by Mary Pickford Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks as well as describing the Hollywood system of movie making in general I found myself skipping parts But that being said it s a great read and a fabulous story of hubris and Hollywood finances This is a Stephen Bach s memoir of his last two years as a production Shadow on the Crown (The Emma of Normandy Trilogy, executive at United Artists It s not simply the tale of Heaven s Gate the critical and commercial flop thatventually sank UA It s also about the other people and projects he ContamiNation encountered during these years For me he spent too much on the latter and notnough on the former While I was mildly interested in hearing about Truman Capote drinking Tab from a champagne flute I wanted to know about the magnificent mess that became Heaven s Gate Bach does take us from the deal to Gate s disastrous theatrical release In between he tells us about the intervening Taxi ins Glück events that led to UA s demise Cimino s insistence on casting the unknown French actor Isabelle Huppert as the female lead the Montana based production that went wildly over budget and schedule Cimino shot a MILLION feet of film and the four hour New York premiere that touched off a critical Heaven's Gate is probably the most discussed least seen film in modern movie history Its notoriety is so great that its title has become a generic term for disaster forgo run rampant for pic mismanagement for wanton xtravagance It was also the film that brought down one of Hollywood’.

REVIEW À CAFE1919.ORG Ó Steven Bach

D just finished directing the academy award winning The Deer Hunter and the studio was very pleased with him So VP Stephen Bach gave the go ahead based on the studio s past dealings with himThe film called Heaven s Gate had a Losing My Virginity and Other Dumb Ideas excellentnsemble cast with Jeff Bridges Kris Kristofferson John Hurt Christopher Walken Isabelle Hubbert and many other fine actors It was based on a dispute between land barons and immigrants in Wyoming They started shooting in April 1979 and was scheduled for a Christmas release that year uickly things started going terribly wrong starting with The Magic Rolling Pin endless retakes and the budget began to climb and climb The director Michael Cimino had a vision that the film would be a massivepic now and he pushed it nearly four times over its planned budget Stephen Bach writes of a first screening the film is now five hours long and realizes with absolute horror that it was a terrible mess of a film Unfortunately on general release in April 1981 the critics hated it Critic of the New York Times Vincent Canby wrote Heaven s Gate fails so completely you might suspect Mr Cimino sold his soul to the devil to obtain the success of The Deer Hunter and the devil has just come around to collect The public hated it Of its 19791980 s 44 million dollar cost only 15 million was recovered at the US box office Stephen Bach and other Indecent... Exposure (Indecent, executives were fired and it forced the famous studio started in 1919 United Artists to close down its doors foreverMy main complaint about the book is director Michael Cimino is the main villain and the author the unwitting victim In retrospect it was also the United Artistsxecutives who were at fault for not providing strong leadership or Not Without a Fight even having thexperience to rein in to a director who was clearly in over his head However it is an ntertaining read and I loved reading about how Hollywood dealt with this disaster Four Stars A largely self serving account in which Bach tries to remove himself from blame at a time when Heaven s Gate was seen as the last word in movie failures Ironically Heaven s Gate stands up today as a major underrated film whose failure says a lot about changing tastes in the blockbuster ra than it does about Cimino s ambitions I think Bach the author of this overestimated the fascination non movie The Unseen Wonder executives would have for business deals that moviexecutives make but it s certainly The Management Bible extremely well written and perceptive about movies What really makes this book interesting is the film that it s about I saw the full 3 hour 39 minute version of Heaven s Gate on MGM recently and so picked up the book and there s no doubt in my mind that it s a major work one of the most beautiful moviesver made It throws up the ancient uestion of do you need to care about the characters to Zu schnell enjoy a film I didn t remotely care about any of them but for me the 3 and a half hours flew by because the film is so alive This conundrum is articulated really well in the book Bach is fully aware of the visionary nature of the work he is sanctioning but he s also in horror at the lev If you re looking to hear about what happened during the making of Heaven s Gate don t look here This is of a history of United Artistsdiary of Steven Bach s time there and while he was involved in Heaven s Gate it wasn t very closely and it was all on the deal makingnd of things not the movie making one It is fairly illuminating as a look into the business Sleepless (Bird of Stone, end of the movie business and Bach isn t a bad writer but one can only read about so many meetings and at a little over 400 pages nearly 200 of which go by before filming starts on Heaven s Gate maybe he should throw less stones aboutditing things down to a reasonable length Still if you want a book about the business of film production that actually focuses on the business of film production and not lurid personal stories like The Kid Stays In The Picture or You ll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again Final Cut has some solid value and is plenty readabl. Nd producer the only person to witness the film’s volution from beginning to nd Combining wit xtraordinary anecdotes and historical perspective he has produced a landmark book on Hollywood and its people and in so doing tells a story of human absurdity that would have made Chaplin pro.

Eeding frenzy that all but doomed the theatrical releaseI never felt that Bach adeuately xplained how UA let Cimino run this project 34 million over budget only to produce a well photographed muddled mess For sure Cimino was an arrogant perfectionist No doubt he thought he was bullet proof after winning best picture and director Oscars for The Deer Hunter Bach certainly makes the case that Cimino was difficult to deal with However these things don t Invisible (The Curse of Avalon entirelyxplain how UA let Cimino get away with it I read lots of books about the movies but this one s my favorite Self serving first person account of a slow motion train wreck written by a studio Yummy Supper exec whose claim to fame was devaluing the studio to thextent that King Kong Kirk Kerkorian could snap United Artists up at fire sale prices That the film in uestion is an ccentric near masterpiecereplete with stretchy pacing sound cues that are mixed inadeuately and performances pitched at varying xtremes is a minor miracle HG is imminently watchable stuff and is neither a great nor Deep Listening even good film but it is a gorgeous whitelephant of ambition Its flaws are the cracks where the circumstances of its fraught production peek through and the viewer glimpses the processes that wrought such a four hour beast Bach s book by contrast is a sober account of those processes the xigencies and conomics of filmmaking and the dreams of the moneymen as hostages to the dreams of the artists Bach Evolution, Me Other Freaks of Nature emerges as a sensible fellow in hindsight no doubt during production he must have appeared a combination punching bagmarshmallow so thoroughly was he roughed up by Cimino throughout casting production andditing A true survivor s story as well as a primer in career destruction and property devaluation Blame Cimino for making his film but blame United Artists for failing to know its business Cimino was punished for breaking the only two rules that matter 1 don t spend all the money and 2 don t take all the credit Bach lost his job at the top of UA and UA lost its cache under MGM The book while xcellent is an artifact of the film which while misguided approaches brilliance too many times to dismiss and remains an oddball pic Please read the book to savor the bitter flavor of defeat but importantly watch the film to see the thoughtfulness beneath the murk and the scope of one man s vision A loopy and disjointed vision of a film whose flaws are as Trajan energizing as other films successes Or don t It s four hours long fergodsake FINAL CUT deserves its reputation as a canonical work about the movie business Author Steven Bach was anxecutive at United Artists in the 70 s when UA was arguably the best run studio in Hollywood TransAmerica Bank acuired UA in the late 1970 s on the basis of that success but unfortunately all it took was one bad gamble to bring the whole thing down That would be director Michael Cimino s HEAVEN S GATE project which I ve never seen and apparently is actually pretty good but in any Bunnys Book Club Goes to School event went five times over budget bombed at the box office and managed to drag downverybody associated with it Imagine a horrific train wreck that happens over two and a half years this book gives the blow by blow Bach is actually a very smart author and he does not spare himself part of the blame for HEAVEN S GATE s failure although he saves the sharpest barbs for Cimino s pathological and The Peculiar Pig egomaniacal Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called Ego Friedrich NietzscheThis witty book was recommended to me by another fellow film buff as one of the best books on Hollywood from a studios stand point It was written by the late United Artists senior vice president Steven Bach about one of the mostxpensive flops in movie history It is the story of how a thirty five year old director named Michael Cimino approached United Artists and Steven Bach with the idea of doing a seven million dollar medium budget American western film inspired by Wyoming s 1892 Johnson County War Mr Cimino who ha. S major studios United Artists the company founded in 1919 by Douglas Fairbanks Mary Pickford D W Griffith and Charlie Chaplin Steven Bach was senior vice president and head of worldwide production for United Artists at the time of the filming of Heaven's Gate and apart from the director

Steven Bach was senior vice president and head of worldwide productions for United Artists studios In Final Cut Dreams And Disaster in the Making of Heaven's Gate 1985 Bach chronicles his involvement in the troubled production of Heaven's Gate 1980 a film widely considered to have been the decisive reason for the financial bankruptcy of United ArtistsBach is the author of The Life and Leg