As Hollywood continues to mourn director Michael Cimino, who died Saturday at the age of 77, several members of the film community have shared their condolences for the Oscar-winning director of films like The Deer Hunter and Heaven’s Gate.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, The Deer Hunter star Robert De Niro recalled his collaboration with Cimino on the 1978 film, which won five Oscars, including Best Picture. “Our work together is something I will always remember. He will be missed,” the actor said.
Author and film journalist Anne Thompson wrote an elaborate tribute to the late filmmaker for IndieWire, in which she recounted a lengthy history of the director’s filmography and various live appearances. “He was a perfectionist. He talked about waiting for the light to appear behind a mountain,” she wrote, recalling his creative process. “‘The mountain is waiting to see if you have the courage to wait,’ he [once] said. ‘Time is money. If you have the courage to wait until the mountain says ‘OK, I will reveal my true beauty to you,’ always say, ‘thank you mountain, you give me the sight of your beauty.’ (He choked up.)”
Owen Gleiberman similarly paid tribute to the director in a post for Variety. “… no filmmaker of his time dreamed bigger than Michael Cimino. He didn’t just want to tell stories. He wanted to tell the story — the mythical big story, the one about the spirit that made America what it was,” he wrote. “Cimino seized audiences by dreaming big and then, high on what he’d accomplished, he pushed himself to dream too big. There was a crazy majesty woven into the very fabric of his ambition.”
Directors Guild of America president Paris Barclay also issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter regarding Cimino’s death. “With his visionary approach and attention to every detail, Michael Cimino is forever etched in the history of filmmaking,” he said. “In his most iconic work, the DGA and Academy Award-winning film The Deer Hunter, Michael captured the horrors of war through a personalized lens — captivating a nation in the process.”
See what other actors, writers, and directors are saying about Cimino’s cinematic legacy in the posts below.
English translation: “How sad, Michael Cimino died. Journey to the End of Hell [French title of The Deer Hunter] remains a legendary movie to see and see again, forever!”
English translation: “Michael Cimino died in peace surrounded by his family and the two women who loved him. We loved him too.”