Entries tagged with “Clint Eastwood”.

It’s interesting to watch the evolution of the heroes that  brought to screen in his acting and directing career. His first serious impact was with the spaghetti western style heroes of the 60s, followed by the sometimes rotten, sometimes idealistic cops in the action movies of the 70s. Later as he turned to directing and built a solid career as an accomplished director his heroes were polarized in super-achievers or rhetoric failures. Some of them continued to use their fists or guns. Other were inspiring leaders or great inspiring movers. They never were conventional. Which is the main problem with Sully. The hero of this film is so predictable. Even his dilemmas and the way they are solved are predictable.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3263904/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3263904/


You will tell me that this is a true story, we know the ending, it happens to be a happy one, this also happens in life. Maybe so. Reality however does not always provide the best promises for great art, and realism is just one of the possible styles in cinema (and not necessarily the one I prefer). Good movies were made based on true stories and biographies of real heroes. They succeeded however because they could find new dimensions to the stories and the characters, not because they followed the beaten tracks. Even in Sully the best parts are the ones that describe, almost as against the story the conflict between self confidence and doubts. Should we trust the heroes that become overnight media sensations. The instinctual answer is ‘no – be cautions’ but this is not the obvious answer here. The problem is that the envelope is so conventional, full of platitudes and melodrama, of small and insignificant side threads (the calls with the wife) that add nothing to the substance of a story that is quite thin already.


(video source Warner Bros. Pictures)


It is interesting as well to watch the evolution of the heroes that  acted on screen. If there is one thing that made his career exceptional it’s the fact that he never made the expected, his next role was an exception, a different character that built himself as a live and true character on screen, no matter if he was playing a Central Asia refugee or an American astronaut. This is not the case here. If there is one performance that director Eastwood succeeded in this film, it was making actor Hanks look bored and boring for the first time in his career.

‘Landing on the Hudson – The Movie’ (my personal title) is not the best film of either Clint Eastwood (as director) or Tom Hanks. It brings however some interesting questions about the careers of the two exceptional film personalities in the film industry and America of 2016.

It is very difficult to judge this film without referring to politics. One can just read the viewers opinions in IMDB.

One of the first scenes in ‘American Sniper’ defines the world of the hero. It’s a childhood scene. The hero as a kid sits at the family table with his father, mother, brother. The father tells his view of the world. It is divided in sheep, heard-keepers and predators. Predators try to kill, sheep risk to be slaughtered. Nobody in this family will be a sheep. The ‘yes, Sir’ typical to the traditional American way of kids addressing fathers follows. This is the same ‘yes, Sir’ used in the Army.

Clint Eastwood makes films with a talent that is in competition only with his skills as an actor. My problem with many of his films is that his heroes are so far of my world that I cannot avoid detesting them, as much as I admire Clint’s artistic skills. True again for this film about the most decorated sniper in the history of the US Army.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2179136/


Now, the issue is that the hero described in Clint Eastwood’s most recent film is a real character. The authors of the script did not even change his name (it’s Chris Kyle) and many of the facts and situations described are taken from a book inspired by reality. We are shown a young man who decides to switch from rodeos to becoming a soldier after seeing the news on TV about the American embassies being blown up at the end of the 90s. 9/11 follows (again as a piece of TV news) and this is enough to convince him that his tours of duty in Iraq serve the noblest possible cause. If he ever asks questions about the policies of his government, if he ever has any doubts about his life being torn to shreds by the conflict between his duties as a soldier and the duties to his family – these are never shown on screen.

There are two other memorable scenes I took from the film. In one of them an Arab kid takes a rocket launcher and almost fires it. The hero prays that the kid drops the weapon so that he would not be obliged to kill him. His prayers are heard. Later in the film an Army shrink asks him whether he has any regrets about what he did during his service (he is credited with 160 enemies killed in action as a sniper). ‘No, Sir’ he answers, the day he will face the Creator he will have clean conscience about each of them. I could not avoid asking myself the question – what if that kid would not have thrown the weapon and would have been the 161st?


(video source Warner Bros, Pictures)


Can soldiers involved in the bloodiest of the wars ever come home?  Mentally, with their souls intact? Such questions are asked by many films and are asked implicitly by ‘American Sniper’ as well. Apparently the film takes no position while it describes a real life character who can be read both as a hero and as a casualty of war. I can but admire the splendid acting of Bradley Cooper who simply brought back Chris Kyle to life of screen. Eastwood’s story telling skills are exquisite, and while I am no big fan of war scenes I liked the way he staged these. I liked less the one-sided view of the conflict and the situations in Iraq, but let us recognize that this is a film about an American soldier and his perspective of the war. The fact that this is the kind of hero glorified by the society tells more than anything about the world we live in.


The name of J. Edgar Hoover not only marks half of century of the history of defending the law and making justice in the United States, but still raises passions until today. The developments after the terror attacks on 9/11 have brought back to the front stage of the public debate the balance between rights of the the citizens to be protected and the rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and about the role of the federal government and its agencies in protecting freedom for the many while respecting the rights of the few. ‘J.Edgar’ the movie clearly belongs to the genre of the biographical documentary, and according to your beliefs you may get out of this film liking or hating it. There is one thing that is hard to deny in my opinion – this film has passion too, same as the character it describes. One may admire J.Edgar for his dedication to the ideals of making out of America a country of law and order according to his own vision or for building out of nothing one of the best government agencies in the US and the world, or one may hate him because of his obsessional search for a no. 1 enemy, or for the methods he put in the service of the cause.  One cannot deny reading the biography or watching this film that he was a man of passion.


source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1616195/

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1616195/


There are things that I loved and things that I hated in the way this film was written (by ) and directed by . The parallel running of the auto-biography of the character as dictated 40 years later to a young colleague is smartly run in parallel with the ‘present’ of his late age career at the time of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations. One character is already old, the other ages and the story advances. I should actually say one triplet of character, as the extraordinary  (whom I do not like, but I cannot prevent myself to admire) is very well supported by  as the never consumed lover who turns into the eternal secretary of Hoover and  as the eternal friends who also figures up – as rumored by history – as potential lover. All are supported by a  as Hoover’s pious mother, as splendid as you expect. What I liked less is the ex-screen off-screen story telling, hard to digest even under the pretext of Hoover dictating his memoirs at the sunset of his life, or the schematic sound of some of the dialogs – even bad guys seldom speak on cliches as some of the characters here do. Overall the excellent acting and the well kept pace overwhelm the dark sides of the production.


(video source Clevver Movies)


At the end of the day we get another story big as a cinemascope screen of an American hero. Or anti-hero. Depending of course on your beliefs and on the way you relate to the character and the different threads of the story.   Hoover appears as a historic character who had to be obsessed with a Public Enemy no. 1 be they real or imaginary. In parallel he lived his personal drama of (historically alleged) homosexuality, the dark secret of the blackmailer who could so easily be blackmailed. One cannot deny that he built a fabulous crime fighting institution which definitely remains his principal legacy. However, Hoover was also for almost half a century a Gatekeeper, even one who loved to present himself as a popular hero, in comics or movies. Here is a very different kind of movie about him. One which leads the viewer at the end to ask the question of what was The Gatekeeper defending his country against.

I spent last night an evening with the Brubecks. The host was the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the art film festival Epos now at its third edition. Unfortunately I knew too little about the event in the past years and this year I learned about it too late, but this is something to follow in the years to come. The evening program started with the excellent documentary In His Own Sweet Way directed by Bruce Ricker and produced by Clint Eastwood about and with Dave Brubeck and continued with a concert by Darius Brubeck, mostly dedicated to his father’s works.


(video source improvisedsolo)


The title of the film is inspired by one of the most famous pieces composed by Dave Brubeck (here is on a recording in 1964, with his quartet including preferred saxophonist partner and friend Paul Desmond). It is also a defining story line which is followed with off-voice commentaries in a rather conventional and chronological manner, but gets enriched at each stop by a rich and significant melt of interviews made by the musician during his long career with media figures like Walter Cronkite, and commentaries on the music of Brubeck by experts and artists like Yo-Yo Ma or Sting, and most than all the music itself.  Archived clips take us from the music of the debut years to the 2007 Newport festival concert, and then some music played specially for this film.



(video source sixsix)


This is the story of a fabulous life, which started in California, continued on the European second world war theaters where his talent is quickly discovered and put to the service on entertaining and raising the moral of the troops and the formal musical studies with Darius Milhaud. The 50s brought him the recognition, the formation of the famous Dave Brubeck Quartet which would accompany him for almost two decades and fame, as jazz was entering mainstream and Brubeck was the first musician in the genre who made the cover of TIME Magazine in 1954. He was also a breakthrough artist in what concerns the penetration of jazz in the popular music attention and hit parades. Take Five above (which also gave the name of the concert last night) was recorded in 1961 and made it to the top in many countries around the world.


(video source HAaatUPacific)


Brubeck was also part of the first generation of ‘Jazz Ambassadors’ program initiated in 1958 by the State Department, which took the best American jazz musicians in tours world-wide making them known one of the most original forms of art brought to the world by America. This was how American jazz music and some of its bigger musicians reached Romania in the late 60s and start of the 70s. These tours also were a great opportunity for the musicians to be exposed to the music played in other countries and continents. From that period he drew inspiration for pieces like Blue Rondo a la Turk recorded in 1962, this was fusion before the word was applied at all in the musical field.


(video source faridb2000)


Here he is at an award ceremony at the Kennedy Center in 2009, honored by some of the finest musicians that America has, including his sons. This comes by the end of one of the best music documentaries that I have seen lately, the portrait of an artist whose whole life is music, who loves music and makes people who see and listen to him love it.



The concert that followed had Darius Brubeck as main performer at piano, with the excellent British saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, and local drummer Shay Zalman and contra-bassist Tal Ronen in the band. Darius is an experimented and articulate pianist, whose luck was to be born in such a family of gifted musicians but this may also have been his handicap because of the comparison everyone immediately draws to his father. His own Web site can be accessed at http://dariusbrubeck.com/. O’Higgins is an excellent saxophonist who would deserve being invited here as separate guest in one of the international jazz series. Both played mostly from the repertoire of the Brubeck Plays Brubeck group they are part of (it is also the name of Dave’s first solo album recorded in 1956). The success and the enthusiastic response of the audience was immediate. A great jazz evening.

A Web site worth being visited is Brubeck Music dedicated to the music of Dave Brubeck and of the members of the whole clan.

As an interesting trivia for my Romanian friends, Darius spent some time in Romania in the last few years playing music and teaching, and his most record To and Fro’ was recorded in concert in May 2010 at the Hungarian Theatre, in Cluj-Napoca.

Aceasta este a treia (si ultima) mea contributie la Saptamana Clint Eastwood pe site-ul http://filme-carti.ro/


1971 a fost unul dintre anii cei mai importanti in cariera lui Clint Eastwood. Trilogia de western-uri spaghetti regizata de Sergio Leone dupa ce se bucurase de un succes imens in Europa si Japonia cucerise in final publicul american, chiar daca o parte din critici inca strambau din nas (Roger Ebert dela Chicago Sun-Times, unul dintre criticii mei preferati isi va revizui abia dupa decenii aprecierile despre filmele lui Leone) si avea deja la Hollywood reputatie, statut si salarii cu ordine de marime mai mari decat cu 4-5 ani in urma. In acelasi an Eastwood se afla pentru prima data si de cealalta parte a aparatului de filmat facandu-si debutul regizoral si incepand o a doua cariera in cinematografie, o cariera dupa opinia mea cel putin la fel de importanta ca si cea de regizor. Si in fine, in acel an, Eastwood il joaca pentru prima data pe Dirty Harry.

Regizorul lui Dirty Harry era Don Siegel, veteran al perioadei filmelor de actiune de serie B din anii 50, al carui palmares mai includea in acel moment unul dintre filmele de mare succes al lui Elvis Presley Flaming Star. In pofida diferentei de varsta Siegel si Eastwood devenisera prieteni apropriati, si daca Eastoowd va declara mai tarziu ca multe dintre secretele meseriei de regizor le-a invatat de la Siegel, acesta ii va datora lui Eastwood cel mai mare succes al carierei sale cu filmul despre care discutam aici.

(video source a1bergie)

La revizionare aproape dupa patru decenii dela realizare Dirty Harry mi s-a parut un film de actiune care nu a ‘imbatranit’ prea bine, dar care pune niste probleme de actualitate si astazi. Povestea detectivului Harry Callahan din San Francisco specializat in afacerile murdare si indeplinirea misiunilor pe care nimeni altcineva nu vrea sa si le asume, confruntandu-se cu sistemul de legi si reguli care par sa favorizeze delicventii si nu pe aparatorii legii arata astazi teribil de ‘deja-vu’. La fel ne par cunoscute relatia cu partenerul novice nedorit care devine un ajutor si un element de actiune indispensabil, sau chiar si urmaririle pe strazile San Francisco-ului. Ucigasul psihopat, sefii obtuzi, politicienii slabi si gata de a ceda santajului raufacatorilor pentru a castiga un ragaz de liniste, toti par familiari. Meritul filmului lui Siegel este ca in anul 1971 era primul sau dintre primele care aducea impreuna toate aceste teme si personaje in acelasi film, legandu-le intr-o actiune coerenta si descrisa cursiv, fara prea multe meandre si ramificatii.

source www.imdb.com

Clint Eastwood abandoneaza aici poncho-ul din vestul salbatic (acelasi purtat in toate cele treu filme ale trilogiei) pentru sacoul elegant al politistului secolului 20, dar aduce din filmele precedente masca de calm imperturbabil, maiestria manevrarii pistolului si economia de cuvinte, care atunci cand este incalcata face loc multor replici memorabile. Personajul construit de Eastwood in acest film se confrunta cu dileme morale asemanatoare cu cele cu care se va confrunta personajul Jack Bauer din serialul ’24′ cu trei decenii si jumatate mai tarziu. Cand vieti omenesti sunt in balanta are dreptul un om al legii sa ia legea in propriile sale maini? Cand sistemul judiciar este incapabil sa apere victimele si sa-i pedepseasca pe vinovati poate un singur individ sa-i ia locul si sa se erijeze si in judecator si in aplicator al pedepsei (care in cele mai multe cazuri este pedeapsa capitala)? La aceste dileme raspunsurile date in film sunt mult mai evidente si mai usor de dat decat in viata reala. Dirty Harry si multe alte filme care l-au succedat au dat acestor intrebari cheie raspunsuri simpliste si problematice. Cum se spune de obicei in asemenea cazuri? ‘Nu incercati asta acasa’. In cele din urma este vorba despre filme de divertisment, realitatea este mult mai complexa.

Fisa tehnica si cronici despre acest film pot fi citite la http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066999/.

Textul a fost publicat in premiera pe http://filme-carti.ro/ in cadrul Saptamanii Clint Eastwood.


Revederea filmului care incheie trilogia westernurilor spaghetti ale lui Sergio Leone a reprezentat pentru mine o adevarata revelatie. Mi s-a mai intamplat sa revad filme clasice si sa retraiesc o parte din senzatiile de la prima vizionare, sa descopar unghiuri de vedere noi si perspective diferite pe care experienta de viata si de spectator de cinema le-a adaugat sau creat odata cu trecerea anilor. Cu ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ s-a intamplat parca ceva diferit. Cred ca am vazut filmul acum a treia oara. Despre prima vizionare imi aduc aminte destul de putin, eram adolescent, si probabil ca vedeam filmul in acei ani impreuna cu westernurile clasice cu John Wayne si mai ales cu neuitatele filme cu Winnetou inspirate de cartile lui Karl May. L-am revazut prin anii 90 si dimensiunea care crescuse pentru mine si devenise dominanta era jocul exceptional al actorilor – in special Uratul lui Eli Wallach. Revederea de acum este cred diferita pentru ca am deja curajul sa fac abstractie de etichetele derizatorii ca ‘western spaghetti’ si ‘cinema comercial’ si sa apreciez si sa ma delectez de ceea ce este mai bun in acest film – estetica imaginii, dinamica personajelor, jocul superb al celor trei protagonisti, muzica lui Ennio Morricone intrata in patrimoniul slagarelor universale, coloritul si varietatea figurantilor si perspectiva proaspata adusa unui moment des filmat din istoria americana.

La mijlocul anilor 60 cand Sergio Leone are tupeul de a-si asuma proiectul trilogiei westernul era in oarecare masura un gen in stagnatie. Trecuse epoca marilor creatii ale lui John Ford, actori ca John Wayne si Richard Widmark se aflau la apusul carierei si genul nu mai era considerat de Hollywood ca avand sanse sa creeze succese de casa. Era firesc intr-un fel ca reinnoirea sa vina din afara Americii, din Europa in care spatiul vestului salbatic isi pastra dimensiunile de legenda si potentialul de scena a povestilor etern umane.

(video source jonriley)

Dupa succesul primelor doua filme din trilogie, Leone si l-a dorit pe al treilea ca pe un salt calitativ, mai ambitios in perspectiva istorica si mai inchegat stilistic. A dorit sa si atraga in proiect un trio de actori cunoscuti care sa ii asigure succesul de casa in Europa dar si in Statele Unite. Pe langa Clint Eastwood din distributia planuita original urmau sa faca parte Charles Bronson si Gian Maria Volonte. Din motive diferite nici Bronson si nici Volonte nu au ajuns sa joace in film, dar cel putin in cea ce-l priveste pe Eli Wallach schimarea a fost extrem de norocoasa sau poate de inspirata, actorul care a dat viata atator roluri secundare ‘de caracter’ in filmele Holywoodului (ultima data l-am vazut in The Ghost Writer al lui Polanski ca batranul de pe insula) realizand un Tuco de neuitat, unul dintre putinele dar marile roluri principale ale carierei sale, o combinatie de siretenie si rautate bonoma, de strengar periculos si supravietuitor, totul cu un simt al umorului iesit din comun.

Vizionarea filmului ofera o delectare estetica de la inceput pana la sfarsit. Era epoca Tehnicolorului si al ecranelor de mari dimensiuni, si Leone stapaneste la perfectie tehnologia si formatul, care este de altfel perfect potrivit peisajului de desert infinit in care se petrece cea mai mare parte a actiunii. Majoritatea exterioarelor au fost filmate in Spania si nicicand deserturile Andaluziei nu au aratat mai arizoniene sau texane. Regizorul a angajat un mare numar de figuranti localnici, ale caror fizionomii arse de soare si batute de vant si nisip s-au incadrat perfect in peisajul cinematografic. Muzica lui Morricone implineste viziunea intr-o sinteza care a fost preluata si citata in filme care au urmat in istoria cinematografului, unul dintre ultimele si cele mai memorabile fiind Kill Bill al lui Tarantino.

Un alt aspect care apare vizbil si diferit in acest film este reconstituirea fundalului istoric al perioadei razboiului civil american. De la Pe aripile vantului si pana la Cold Mountain este una dintre cele mai filmate epoci ale istoriei americane, si una care a prilejuit filmarea a nenumarate scene de masa si de razboi. Pare poate straniu, dar viziunea italianului Sergio Leone filmata in Europa se incadreaza perfect in aceasta serie de tablouri ale istoriei americane. In plus juxtapunerea situatiei cautatorilor de comori cu a celei a soldatilor angrenati in absurdul razboiului in transee prilejuieste o comparatie cu nuante anti-militariste. Si unii si altii joaca jocuri ale mortii din care sunt putine sanse sa supravietuiasca. In momentul prins in cadru insa jocul escrocilor pare a avea mai mult sens, si in definitiv mai multa esenta umana decat absurdul joc de-a razboiul, cu distrugerile sale nimicitoare si la o scala mult mai extinsa.


(video source lickmybigdick1)

Desigur insa ca actorul care domina filmul este Clint Eastwood. Incheind trilogia care ii lanseaza cariera, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ finiseaza portretul Omului Fara Nume din filmele precedente, mercenarul norocului, ucigasul care nu scoate niciodata primul pistolul si nu ucide niciodata fara finalitate. Daca scenariul il pune aici in situatii diferite si in perspective diferite decat in ‘Pentru un pumn de dolari’ in scena finala a duelului triunghiular (una dintre cele mai bune scene de duel cu pistoale din istoria westernului) el isi recapa poncho-ul parca pentru a inchide ciclul. In permanentul joc de inselaciune si moarte cu ceilalti doi protagonisti Blondie al lui Eastwood este singurul care isi permite manifestari de umanitate si acte de compasiune care ii pun viata in pericol, dar si el si noi spectatorii stim ca el este si mai bun si mai rapid si mai precis decat adversarii sai si ca ii va dovedi in final. Final care cinematografic reprezinta figura sa topindu-se in imensitatea desertului, imagine care inchide cat de poate de adecvat trilogia lui Sergio Leone.

Detalii despre film, cronici, opinii, date tehnice pot fi gasite la http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060196/.

Articol aparut initial pe Web site-ul cultural www.filme-carti.ro in deschiderea Saptamanii Clint Eastwood.


Unul dintre multele episoade interesante din biografia lui Clint Eastwood este alegerea sa in functia de primar al oraselului Carmel-by-the-Sea, situat in California, langa Monterey si la sud de San Francisco. Am vizitat locul de doua ori si mi-a lasat o impresie deosebita. In primul rand este vorba despre un spatiu natural de o mare frumusete, pe o peninsula la Oceanul Pacific, natura imblanzita si amenajata spre delectarea vizitatorilor, cu terenuri de golf, trasee turistice marcate, locuri speciale de observare a faunei oceanice si a pasarilor, si multe vile apartinand evident unor oameni instariti la scala Americii. Un model de natura supusa omului, o sala de expozitii a visului american realizat.

source passionforcinema.com

Poate ca acesta este unul dintre modurile in care poate fi judecata si cariera artistica a actorului si regizorului Clint Eastwood. Este dupa parerea mea unul dintre maestrii artei cinematografice de astazi care reprezinta cel mai bine America mainstream cu valorile, traditiile si conservatorismul ei ponderat. Rari sunt artistii care se bucura de o asemenea longevitate. Candva in 2012 cand va iesi pe ecrane J. Edgar noul film biografic despre J. Edgar Hoover pe care il regizeaza (Eastwood a declarat dupa Gran Torino ca renunta la actorie) se va afla in cel de-al saptelea deceniu al carierei sale cinematografice. Aproape intotdeauna insa rolurile si temele sale au fost americane, chiar si cand si-a pus serviciile la dispozitia lui Sergio Leone Pentru un pumn de dolari (si la propriu, salariul sau pentru primul film din trilogia de western-uri spaghetti fiind de doar 15000 de dolari) sau cand a refuzat sa devina urmatorul James Bond dupa Sean Connery apreciind ca rolul agentului 007 al majestatii sale britanice nu se potriveste unui american.

source shockya.com

Am revazut pentru Saptamana Eastwood doua dintre filmele mai vechi care l-au facut pe actorul Eastwood celebru si au creat imaginea sa de icoana culturala – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly si Dirty Harry. M-a interesat sa gasesc liniile de confluenta dintre cele doua personaje – cel al pistolarului fara nume din trilogia lui Leone si detectivul Harry Callahan din politistul lui Don Siegel si nu a fost greu. Comune sunt fizicul impresionant, siguranta de sine bazata nu in mica masura pe rapiditatea si precizia manuirii pistolului, economia de cuvinte inutile care subliniaza valoare replicilor memorabile atunci cand cuvintele sunt spuse, si in special adeziunea la un sistem de valori fundamentale care transcend nu numai limitele legii dar chiar si antagonismul traditional intre rau si bine.

source celebritiesfans.com

Plecand de la popularitatea si statutul asigurat de succesul acestor filme Eastwood nu s-a limitat ca multi colegi de generatie la cariera de actor si debutul sau regizoral a avut loc in acelasi an 1971 cand iesea pe ecrane si Dirty Harry.  Indraznesc sa fac pronosticul ca Eastwood va ramane in istoria cinematografiei ca regizor cel putin la fel de important ca si ca actor, daca nu mai important. Bird, Unforgiven, Space Cowboys, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino sunt filme in genuri diverse ale unui regizor important, stapan pe mijloacele sale, care povesteste din diverse unghiuri aspecte mai luminoase sau mai intunecate din povestea Americii. Insasi viata si cariera cinematografica a lui Clint Eastwood ar fi putut avea loc numai in America. Este una dintre povestile hollywoodiene adevarate cele mai reusite.