There is no story [in The Deer Hunter], only a succession of unconnected episodes strung together for what seems like an interminable three hours and four minutes. Cimino has refused to be trammeled by dramatic convention. Problems of motivation, plausibility, relationship, even chronology, are ignored. There is no development or illumination of character. Instead of dialogue there are grunts and obscenities.
Cimino has said he was not, after all, trying to make a realistic film. The implication is that he could do so if he wanted to, but that would be like setting Picasso to painting a barn. The Deer Hunter, he has said, is surrealistic, a dreamscape. He is wrong. His...
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