Director apart in the American cinema of the 1970s, Michael Cimino continues to fascinate. Jean-Baptiste Thoret tells us about it on the occasion of the release of his documentary “Michael Cimino, an American mirage”.
Michael Cimino as seen by Jean-Baptiste Thoret
Journey to the End of Hell is a huge film by Michael Cimino. It is moreover the first film of the director who discovered Jean-Baptiste Thoret, historian, film critic and director. After looking at the America of yesterday and today through its cinema, in We Blew It, he attacks more particularly the director of The Gate of Paradise with the documentary Michael Cimino, an American mirage. The opportunity for him to return to the small town of Mingo Junction in Ohio (where was filmed Journey to the End of Hell), and thus discover what has become of its inhabitants. Because while Cimino, in 1979, made us spend an hour with the daily life of a group of friends before plunging us into the Viet Nam war, Thoret in turn stays with these inhabitants to question them about their experience and their memories, before dealing with the Cimino case.
The question of Cimino precisely arose for Jean-Baptiste Thoret at the time of writing his book on American Cinema of the 70s for The Notebooks of the Cinema. And a problem quickly emerged.
Cimino, I had the feeling that he never completely fit into the boxes. Still, Journey to the End of Hell was perhaps for me the greatest American film of the 1970s.
For the release of Michael Cimino, an American mirage, Jean-Baptiste Thoret deciphers with us this extraordinary filmmaker, “man of the in-between, between modern contemporary cinema of the time and classic American cinema“. An interview to discover in the video in an article. Also find our review of the documentary. The film hits theaters on January 19.