“The old dreams were good dreams. They didn’t work out but I’m glad I had them.” (The Bridges of Madison County).
“The thing that haunts a man the most is what he isn’t ordered to do.” (Gran Torino).
Clint Eastwood’s 80th birthday and Memorial Day on the same day. How many times does such a coinciding take place? I wrote an article about Mr. Eastwood for FilmThreat. Click here to see a screencap of it on the homepage. I’m copying and pasting an excerpt below:
Comparing Clint Eastwood to his contemporaries, Jonathan Heaf astutely observes in the March 2010 issue of British GQ, “Paul Newman was always too smooth, Marlon Brando too pretty; Steve McQueen too much of a hothead,” but “there is a stylish nonchalance about Eastwood; he drives home fervour [sic] and conviction without so much as flickering a smouldering [sic] cheroot from one corner of his mouth to the other” (100). Robert Redford, if I may add, was too untroubled.
Eastwood was an infant in the 1930s, a young man during the late 40s, and an indisputable movie star by the 70s. Having worked as both actor and director for Warner Brothers for thirty-five years, Eastwood has collaborated with great talents such as Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, Hal Holbrook, Blake Edwards, Burt Reynolds, Rip Torn, Madeline Kahn, Bernadette Peters, Raul Julia, Tom Skerritt, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Ed Harris, Laura Linney, Scott Glenn, Kevin Spacey, James Woods, Tommy Lee Jones, James Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Laurence Fishburne, and Hilary Swank.
When I initially decided to write an article about Clint Eastwood in celebration of his 80th birthday, which also coincides with Memorial Day 2010, I had planned to incorporate biographical, historical, and thematic analyses of his body of work. After seeing “The Bridges of Madison County,” (Eastwood, 1995), “Dirty Harry” (Don Siegel, 1971), “A Fistful of Dollars“(Sergio Leone, 1964) and “Gran Torino” (Eastwood, 2008), though, I realized that any attempt to illustrate with the written word the man’s brilliance and significance would not do him sufficient justice. The proper and most satisfying way to appreciate his achievements is to watch his films.
Furthermore, the adage about being a man of few words fits Clint Eastwood’s onscreen presence. He doesn’t say much, but when he does, he is profound. My hope is that in sharing with you my impressions, instead of densely packed summaries and praises, your own budding (or continuing) acquaintanceship with Eastwood’s contributions to filmmaking will be more personal.
Read the rest of the article here.
Read more about Clint Eastwood here, here, here, and here. Or, if you’d prefer something less “binding,” hop on over here. While you’re at Senses of Cinema, take a moment to read Dean Brandum’s piece on Dennis Hopper.