Flops and Follies: Why was Michael’s Cimino “Heaven’s gate” a flop and a failure?

This assignment requires the students to construct an argument and back it up with evidencefrom readings, class materials and their own research. Students will choose from a variety of box office flops and follies and

analyze how studio manhandling, directors’ chestbeating and other forces contributed to a given project’s demise, then
outline potential methods whereby these projects could have been salvaged during a crucial juncture in the production process. Candidates for investigation include Orson Welles (Magnificent Ambersons, Touch of Evil), John Huston (Red Badge of Courage), Terry Gilliam (Don Quixote), Michael Cimino (Heaven’s Gate), Elaine May (Ishtar), John Cassavetes (AChild Is Waiting), Charlie Chaplin (Monsieur Verdoux), Steven Soderbergh (Che) and others we will discuss in class.Grading Criteria (What constitutes a good assignment?): Answers the question posed; analysis is thoughtful, accurate,and detailed; writing is clear and free of errors; essay is neatly organized and presented and of proper length; demonstrates good understanding of conventions of academic writing; argument is clearly laid out and fully backed up by references and evidence.

You can choose any of the movies listed above, the one you might know something about.

Essay, APA format, citations, 1500-2000 word count

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