Gates of Heaven
Time Out saysIs the canine after-life a concept sufficiently dear to the heart of California to form an exploitable basis for corporate capitalist credibility? Well, it may seem a dumb question, but at least two family concerns profiled in this winningly absurdist documentary think the answer is yes. For it's the unpredictable market economy of pet cemeteries over which Morris' subjects wax both lyrical and hymnal, as they affirm in endearingly ludicrous detail their earnest commitment to dead doggies and the dollar, and insistently hard-sell alternative routes through the eponymous portals. Morris respects the manic integrity of his interviewees, and handles his Great American Metaphors with the lightest of touches; incidentally winning a bet that saw Werner Herzog eat his shoe (having wagered that the film would never get made), he ultimately achieves a real treat of everyday surrealism.