The Deer Hunter (1978)

Michael Cimino directs Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep in this somber and nihilistic view of what working class American men went through when they went off willingly to Vietnam. 

A guttingly powerful, ugly beautiful epic. Sure, you could shave 45 minutes off that first hour of weddings and boozing. But once we are in the shit, holding guns to our heads, getting rat-bit… we’ve marinated ourselves in who the dehumanised men were and who they now are. The final act is troubling and enigmatic. A brutal poem that leaves any intelligent audience member questioning its open ended ethics. A brilliantly, daringly crafted landmark of cinema I’m still growing into. This is big, massive filmmaking… the only close up I remember being deployed is two drops of ominous wine falling onto a wedding dress. Look where we see those wedding gifts stacked next, much much later in the film, and tell me Cimino isn’t an artist?

9

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