A year after the restoration of Michael Cimino’s extraordinary Heaven’s Gate here’s a chance to see the new digital print of the director’s other, far better known masterpiece: The Deer Hunter.
Although many cite Apocalypse Now as the great American film about the Vietnam War, The Deer Hunter is in many ways the better work. Indeed, despite its epic length, it is free from the self-indulgence of Coppola’s film and, in detailing the experiences of the civilians on the home front alongside those of combatants before, during and after battle, it has more complex things to say about a nation at war.
According to the film’s star, Robert DeNiro, this was the most emotionally and physically exhausting film of his career, and it shows. The Deer Hunter remains a film of rare poignancy and intensity, brilliantly acted, not least by DeNiro and an Oscar-winning Christopher Walken, and masterfully directed by Cimino.