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Year of the Dragon (1985)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Co-screenwriter/director Michael Cimino Rating:7.4/10 (8 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on July 7th, 2012:Find all reviews by frankasu03
This a real engaging track from Michael Cimino, who is most famous for the debacle know as "Heaven's Gate." Although we'll probably never hear a track with that project, the one on 'Dragon' actually works as a tome on Cimino's entire career. The first hour is the best, with numerous stories about casting and working with unknowns, his abondonment of all film school conventions, and his lifelong relationship with Clint Eastwood. Although perhaps too much is spent lavishing praise on Clint, it feels genuine. As to the film itself, Michael does talk at length about sets and locations; finding never-before-seen views of NYC, transforming a North Carolina studio into a "Chinatown" so convincing, he fooled Bronx-bred Stanley Kubrick. The 2nd half of the track is devoted to effusive praise of Asian cultures, and his experience working and filming in Asia throughout his career. The track eventually devolves into pointing out the location transitions within a shot. Cimino certainly is set in his ways, but obviously his approach has garnered the respect of many cultures and filmmakers around the world. For the first 70 minutes alone, this track is a 9 out of 10.
Reviewed by sedna on February 25th, 2013:Find all reviews by sedna
It is indeed a very engaging track. However it's not easy to split it in "two halves" like the reviewer above me says. The track is really sprinkled with all kinds of information throughout the entire running time. What I found most fascinating about it is Cimino's process of filmmaking, his thoughts on anamorphic and why he prefers it, his lenses of choice (two) with which he claims is all he needs to make a film. I also really found it interesting, towards about an hour and 44 minutes in when Cimino talks about assimilating oneself into a culture when making a film set in that culture - whatever it is, gang culture, environment, country. This is something that Tony Scott has done on practically all of his films (which he talks about in the commentaries) that in the research for the film it's vital to bury yourself in this world. Overall, it's a very good commentary. Really informative, stories, insight into filmmaking, all that good stuff. Definitely recommended!