Thoughts on Errol Morris’ seminal pet cemetery documentary “Gates of Heaven”

We Talk About Movies

This entry is part of Spotlight 1978, a series where we talk about films released in 1978.

Gates of Heaven

All in the same year (and in the same blog series) we go from the “Days of Heaven” to the “Gates of Heaven“. And despite coming from different genres, the two films share more similarities than just their titles. They both rely on their filmmakers to wait for and trust their cameras to capture the truth, and the story to emerge from these skeins of vision and emotion.

It’s hard to appreciate Gates of Heaven for what it is without having to forget and ignore the 30+ years of audio-visual tropes and language that have developed in its wake, thanks partly to its influence. It’s a very straightforward piece, both as a documentary and a piece of visual art, which makes it very easy to miss out on the profundities…

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