Gates of Heaven

Gates of Heaven

IMDB

(1980?, Dir. Errol Morris)

I think IMDB is mistaken on the release date on this flick; I believe it was out in ’78. But IMDB’s what I’ve chosen as the source for my movie information, so I guess I’ll live with its inaccuracies for now.

Gates of Heaven is a disjointed dissertation on the sanctity of burial, human or otherwise. As in other Morris docs (Vernon, Florida; Fast, Cheap and Out of Control), you mostly just get distracted with the oddity of the subjects on screen, rather than any focused theme that Morris is trying to convey. Here, the director seems to be feeling his way through, without compass or rudder, and ends up with an interesting patchwork quilt instead of an impactful story.

2.5/5.0

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Posted on August 19, 2006, in Film log. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I agree; Morris was obviously still finding his feet as a documentarian. He was developing a certain style of “let the camera run and let the people say whatever crazy shit comes into their heads,” but he was unable to put it into a cohesive story about pet cemetaries. It’s really fascinating to watch, and it’s kind of a necessary step in the career of a guy who finally found his way to Fog of War, but… kind of a failure all the same.

    Didn’t you just love that old lady who talked about her son leaving her up there, and how she’d had it with him and she was going to “get him”? I wanted to take her out for tea.

  2. Oh, PS: I thought 1979 was the release date.

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