The real surprise is that gates of heaven does not feel like a debut film or a movie made by a first time director. And i saw the holy city, new jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from god, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Its not that gates of heaven isnt amusing at times, but morris does force us to examine those people sincerely and unaffectedly devoted to animals who had become their companions. With lucille billingsley, zella graham, cal harberts, dan harberts. Gates of heaven is a 1978 documentary by errol morris it is about pet cemeteries. Gates of heaven is a series of interviews beginning with a failed pet cemetery owner and journeys into the world of a successful pet cemetery owner.
After watching gates of heaven, i can understand why errol morris found the theater completely. Ostensibly a documentary on pet cemeteries, gates of heaven actually uses the cultural practice of burying ones pet as an excuse to conduct a series of subtly revealing interviews with a loosely connected group of people. Though not as impressive as the image we got from criterions bluray of morris the thin blue line the image for gates of. His nowfamiliar stylestudioshot talkinghead interviews, intercut with meticulous, sometimeswry recreations, all set to a pulsing soundtrackdebuted in 1988s the thin blue line, and proved so popular that its had a lasting influence on feature. Funny, inspiring, and bizarre, gates of heaven is the celebrated pet cemeteries documentary that is in reality an unorthodox look at life.
With richard gere, brooke adams, sam shepard, linda manz. Gates of heaven focuses on an assortment of people involved in the pet cemetery business and the grieving owners who simply want to give the animals they love a. Well, we do learn a little bit about the ins and outs of this particular niche business, but mostly, this nonfiction feature is about people, and getting to know their stories. Set in 1916, it tells the story of bill and abby, lovers who travel to the texas panhandle to harvest crops for a wealthy farmer. Roger ebert saw it, and put this film on his top 10 list of best films of 1978. Film themes in its deceptive simplicity, gates of heaven overflows with an all american verve, wholly singular in its vision of life, death, business and our odd relationships with our pets near and dear. This fatal shortcoming is nowhere more evident than in eberts infamous dvd blurb about errol morriss 1978 documentary about pet cemeteries, gates of heaven not to be confused with michael ciminos monumental western film flop heavens gate, which declares this. Errol morris on gates of heaven and nonfiction filmmaking duration. After watching gates of heaven, i can understand why errol morris found the theater completely empty at the end of its first screening at the berlin film festival. Apr 30, 2009 another favourite scene from gates of heaven. And yet, their flaws make their stories so compelling and fascinating. Gates of heavenvernon, floridathe thin blue line the.
Gates of heaven synagogue madison, wisconsin, a synagogue in madison, wisconsin gate of heaven cemetery east hanover, new jersey, a cemetery in east hanover, new jersey gate of heaven cemetery silver spring. Days of heaven is a 1978 american romantic period drama film written and directed by terrence malick and starring richard gere, brooke adams, sam shepard, and linda manz. They form the truth at the center of errol morris 1978 documentary, which is surrounded by layer upon layer of. Gates of heaven came out of left field in 1978 to initiate a new subgenre of creative documentaries. Gates of heaven is a 1978 film by acclaimed documentarian errol morris, which ostensibly is about the concept of the pet cemetery. This isnt really about the way we deal with dead pets or even pet ownership in general, though it touches on those things. Gates of heaven is the story of two california pet cemeteries transformed into an eccentric portrait of the american dream. It shows many of the traits characteristic of morris later films, including the lack of a. Im interested in the actual events, being descended from russian immigrants of the era. He hustled his way into two different worldrenowned graduate. After finishing vernon, florida, morris tried to get funding for a variety of projects. And, most notably, he can be seen in les blanks short film this time for real eating his shoe to celebrate the successful completion of errol morriss gates of heaven 1978. He followed it with another documentary, vernon, florida 1981, focusing on the eccentric residents of the titular town.
They form the truth at the center of errol morris 1978 documentary, which is surrounded by layer upon layer of comedy, pathos, irony, and human nature. Such a description, however, can hardly do justice to the captivating, funny, and enigmatic gates of heaven, a film that is about our relationships to our pets, each other, and ourselves. Errol morris burst out of the gate with this brilliant debut feature, about two pet cemeteries in northern california and the people involved with them. Weve found 1,496 lyrics, 44 artists, and 50 albums matching gates of heaven. Excerpt from the documentary gates of heaven gates of heaven is the story of two california pet cemeteries transformed into an eccentric portrait of the american dream. When i put it on my list of the 10 greatest films ever made, i was not joking. Gates of heaven 1978 cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. The film, like gates of heaven, suffered from poor distribution. Gates of heaven, which has no connection with the unfortunate heavens gate, is a documentary. Errol morris hadnt become errol morris when he made his first two films, 1978s gates of heaven and 1981s vernon, florida. Gates of heaven discussion guide influence film club.
This was errol morris first movie and features several people associated with the pet cemetery business. Morris did indeed complete his film which was called gates of heaven 1978 and, true to his word, herzog boiled and ate his show at the films premiere in berkeley. In a makingof documentary, jeff bridges, who played a local entrepreneur, recalls that when it. Find out where heavens gate is streaming, if heavens gate is on netflix, and get news and updates, on decider. Gates of heaven had its premier at the 1978 new york film festival, and would play at various other festivals around the world before being picked up for a limited theatrical run by new yorker films in 1981. Gates of heaven album, a 2003 album by do as infinity. His first film was the documentary gates of heaven 1978, an offbeat exploration of two pet cemeteries in california and the people who buried their pets there. The film is a documentary about pet cemeteries, but what may have turned into a freak show a movie about people who value pets so much they pay thousands of dollars to bury them becomes an inspection of the human soul. German director werner herzog made a bet with aspiring filmmaker errol morris that if the latter ever completed the film he was working on which was inspired by a news story about the mass relocation of the graves from a california pet cemetery he would eat his shoe. Death is for the living and not for the dead so much the men who run a pet cemetery, and the men and women who bury their pets, become the subject of this documentary. I especially like the last third of the film in which we meet the harberts family who own the bubbling well pet cemetary in nappa valley.
The film which financially destroyed united artist is a western epic deserving of a second look. Gates of heavenvernon, florida the criterion collection. The film walks a tightrope between offering respect for the pet owners and. Vilmos zsigmonds cinematography is breathtaking, the sheer scope is unlike any other film, and this cut is the closest we will get to see of the directors original vision. Gates of heaven by errol morris film stills, editor, southern prep, heaven. When the film was released herzog lived up to his wager and the consumption of his footwear was made into the short film werner herzog eats his shoe. They say you can make a great documentary about almost anything, if only you see it well enough and truly, and this film proves it. With gates of heavenvernon, florida, errol morris flexed his. The film proves that if you let ordinary people talk to the camera for long enough they will say something profound. The memorial park, made famous in the the 1978 film gates of heaven, has been the final resting place for thousands of napa valley and bay area pets for more than four decades.
The film, like morris other works, is unnarrated and the stories are told purely through interviews. Gates of heaven is arguably the masterpiece of americanarama, made nearly a decade before the trend coalesced. Gates of heaven 1980 rotten tomatoes movie trailers. Animals as family for many people, pets are part of the family, not just another thing that fills their homes and gives them responsibility. Gates of heaven is a 1978 documentary by errol morris. Gates of heaven is a 1978 documentary film by errol morris about the pet cemetery business gates of heaven may also refer to.
Inspired by an article entitled 450 dead pets going to napa valley, errol morris set out to capture the event which centered around the transport of hundreds of animal remains from one pet cemetery to another. Bill encourages abby to claim the fortune of the dying farmer by tricking him into a false marriage. The film was made by a california filmmaker named errol morris, and it has been the subject of notoriety because werner herzog, the west german director, promised to eat his shoe if morris ever finished it. Rent gates of heaven 1978 starring lucille billingsley and cal harberts on dvd and bluray. Much like his second film vernon, florida, which i watched a couple of years ago, the movie is made up entirely of interviews of various people, edited together to build a story. Public enemy im sitting on my cat, just so i can get it to our local pet cemetery that much faster. Errol morriss documentary on pet cemeteries and the owners who contributed their deceased pet there is simply exceptional, combining quirky individuals that seem both goofy and melancholic.
Errol morris documentary director thin blue line two movies, movie tv, the. Along the way, through many voices, morris examines life and our existence on earth with our beloved pets and the reverence shown when one of those pets passes away. Gates of heaven, which has no connection with the unfortunate heaven s gate, is a documentary. Heaven s gate is a 1980 american epic western film written and directed by michael cimino. In 1991, roger ebert named it one of the ten best films ever made. The film features an ensemble cast, including kris kristofferson, christopher walken, isabelle huppert, jeff bridges, john hurt, sam waterston, brad dourif, joseph.
The politically connected ranch owners fight the immigrants with the help of nathan champion christopher walken, a mercenary competing with averill for the love of local madam ella watson. The film stars kris kristofferson, christopher walken, jeff bridges, mickey rourke, willem dafoe, and john hurt. The films highly idiosyncratic and original approach to its subject moved german director wim wenders to proclaim it a masterpiece in its rough cut form and roger ebert became an early champion of the film. Certainly, for bottomline defamiliarizing weirdness, no film has ever surpassed this documentary account of two california pet cemeteries. Heavens gate is a dark, grim western set in the 1890s in the u. Heavens gate is a 1980 american epic western film written and directed by michael cimino. But really, these arent major things to worry about.
Loosely based on the johnson county war, it portrays a fictional dispute between land barons and european immigrants in wyoming in the 1890s. Calvin harbert and pet mourners in gates of heaven. The film features an ensemble cast, including kris kristofferson, christopher walken, isabelle huppert, jeff. It was made when morris was unknown and did much to launch his career. Bill encourages abby to claim the fortune of the dying farmer by tricking him into a false. Early on in gates of heaven, one of the interview subjects gives a quote that summarizes much of the film. Gates of heaven launched morris career and is now viewed as a classic. Gates of heaven is a perversely enjoyable film about the american funeral industry. Morris completed his first film, gates of heaven, in 1978. Gates of heaven is a 1978 documentary film by errol morris about the pet cemetery business. And like most of us, they find the gates of heaven, that is, the tunnel of light into the spirit world, wide open for them.
Gates of heaven is a documentary with subject and no argument, and is nonetheless deeply, deeply ruminative. A hottempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune. Errol morris first film, gates of heaven, comes to bluray from criterion, who present the film in the aspect ratio of about 1. Gates of heaven is an eccentric portrait of the american dream, shown through the story of two california pet cemeteries, the people who run them, and the men and women who bury their pets there. Watch heavens gate online stream full movie directv. Read the gates of heaven movie synopsis, view the movie trailer, get cast and crew information, see movie photos, and more on. A documentary about a pet cemetery in california, and the people who have pets buried there. Gates of heaven is one of those fascinating films that no matter how many times you see, the mysteries contained in it only get deeper. Morriss first documentary, 1978s gates of heaven, concerns two pet cemeteries.
Heavens gate is not a perfect film, but it has a lot to offer if you give it a chance. Then i saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. Harvard graduate james averill kris kristofferson is the sheriff of prosperous jackson county, wyo. Morris did finish it, and at the films premiere in berkeley, herzog indeed boiled and ate his shoe. Gates of heaven, 1978, errol morris criterion closeup. Im also beginning to recognize the subtle thing that makes a filmmaker potentially great. Errol morris began this, his first nonfiction feature, in 1978 after reading a headline in the san francisco chronicle. But gates of heaven remains in a category by itself, unclassifiable, provocative, tantalizing. That doesnt mean that they wont have to pay their karmic dues for the things that they stole or the lies that they told. It shares a duallayer disc with his second documentary, vernon, florida. Specifically, the first part concerns one floyd mcclure, a man with a deep feeling for animals who hit upon the idea of a pet cemetery business.1165 354 469 823 520 1203 457 460 1336 1093 1349 1117 1230 1227 366 1304 1006 1578 344 676 142 130 725 438 711 884 57 1539 60 101 839 769 1373 1296 800 1353 1039 334 27