Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gates of Heaven finally opened up

I finally signed up for Blockbuster online so I could see all of the obscure movies for the blog, although I fear my commenting is what has chilled everyone else's posting. I sort of don't care about that; my self-esteem is kind of weak, but it would take some online criticism (probably).

So...Gates of Heaven. I guess it fit our goal, but as for considering it a masterpiece? No. Let me explain what Gates of Heaven was like to me. At the Museum of Art at BYU, there is currently a showing of Modern Art, and a theme throughout questioning whether the pieces are, in fact, art. In particular, the most expensive piece in the showing is of four- foursided cubes painted white on the outside and a purplish-blue on the inside. They are about 4 feet high. They cost 11 million dollars. I literally could reproduce them in a matter of days (mostly for the paint to dry) and for a cost of less than $1000; easily. There is no particular fashion in their arrangement. But they are worth $11 million. I asked my buddy Matt, who works there, and he let me put out a sign that I would be willing to make life-size replicas for 1/1000 of the cost. Nobody has yet called me. Gates of Heaven was kind of like that to me.

In fairness I did watch the movie with my two cats, a dog, and a small child, but I thought the documentary didn't have a very good running theme. On the one hand, it seemed to be about the different reactions people have towards the death of pets, but on the other it seemed to be about people's interactions with other people. The last half of the movie didn't have as much to do about the pet cemetary as it did with a washed up insurance salesmen (and veritable douchebag) understanding his third place in the pet cemetary venture behind his younger potsmoking guitar-playing brother (who had weed growing in the background).

All that said, the show reminded me of my visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu. It's the most fun I've had being bored out of my mind.


1 comment:

Jason Pyles, Movie Critic said...


Trust me, it was I who ran everybody off, not you. I had too many rules, I guess. In any case, this blog is magnifying its precise purpose: namely, our regular discussion of films. (But where's Karl been?)

I don't remember anyone calling "Gates of Heaven" a masterpiece, but there was a lot of hot debate about whether "The Dark Knight" was such a movie.

Personally, I didn't like "Gates of Heaven" all that much, either (even though I chose it). Roger Ebert says it's among the best films every made.

I won't rehash all my comments I've already posted about it back in July, but in response to yours, I think the film's most "special" aspect (for lack of a better term), is something many documentaries have: luck and perhaps foresight.

The fact that Morris knew to record these events as they happened makes it something I don't think one could simply re-create. That's the neat thing about documentaries: Oftentimes, the filmmaker isn't always sure whether he or she has a film yet, until it unfolds a little bit.

But you've got to start filming early on to catch the event from the beginning. (See also "My Kid Could Paint That" and "This Divided State.")

But as for those BYU pieces, I have no doubt you could nail those spot on, brother.