I watched Heaven’s Gate a few years back to see for myself. No amount of re-editing, re-imagining, or explaining can save it from being the trainwreck that it is. It is a Western with a five minute roller-skating sequence in it. It is 325 minutes long (and I mean long). Joe Queenan writes about it here, in what is the funniest movie review I’ve ever read. It bankrupted a studio and ruined several careers, including Cimino’s.
Cimino was, by all accounts, an autocratic, difficult, Ayn-Rand-loving director and human being. And now he’s dead. RIP.