Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Auteurs #35: Michael Cimino

One of the most controversial filmmakers to emerge from the New Hollywood era of auteur-driven films of the 1970s, Michael Cimino is a name that is synonymous with both success and failure. He rose high in the late 70s with the Academy Award-winning Vietnam War film The Deer Hunter, that is often regarded as a classic, only to gain notoriety and become a pariah with Heaven’s Gate a few years later as he was supposedly responsible for bankrupting United Artists. It has been nearly 20 years since he last directed a feature film just as his most infamous film is being re-discovered by a new audience. Known for creating films with striking visuals that paints wide canvas while containing subject matters that are very controversial and provocative. Cimino is a filmmaker who was very fearless as there are those who are wondering if he will ever return and be given one more chance to helm a film without compromise.

While there’s been conflicting background about his real age and collegiate background, it has been notified that Michael Cimino was born on February 3, 1939 in New York City as his father was a music publisher and his mother was a costume designer. While he was considered a prodigy in the private schools he was taught at where he graduated at the Westbury High School in Long Island in 1956. After a three-year period in Michigan State where he graduated with honors, Cimino was transferred to Yale based on his work in Michigan State’s school humor magazine where he continuously studied art and drama where he would get a BFA in 1961 and later a master’s degree two years later. It was during this time that Cimino was becoming interested in films as he was influenced by the films of John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, and Luchino Visconti in terms of their visual language and sprawling approach to storytelling.

More on this piece can be read through this link here.

© thevoid99 2014

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