Gates of Heaven

Director: Errol Morris
Year Released: 1978
Rating: 2.0

Morris turns his impassive gaze onto obsessive pet people and the owners of a pet cemetery in this exploration of human attachment. A lot of the reviews I've read of it describe it as being 'hilarious' or 'very funny' - which I did not - suggesting that Morris' attitude towards these people is one of condescension, using juxtaposition (effectively, I might add) to mock their attachment to their deceased pets and highlight the absurdity of their confessions about wanting to reunite with their animals in the Great Beyond (on the opposite end of the compassion scale, he turns the camera to a guy from the Gut 'Em and Dump 'Em animal rendering company). Don't be mistaken: this is certainly one of those self-conscious "Big Message" movies - he would make another one in Fast, Cheap & Out of Control - in which the digressions (he allows the characters to just ramble on in every direction) are intended to add complexity to them as 'individuals.'