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Date: 17 Feb 2009 03:53:46
From: Superdave
Subject: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
NYT
December 14, 2008

The Films Are for Him. Got That?

By BRUCE HEADLAM

CARMEL, Calif.

BEING introduced to Clint Eastwood is something like seeing a
California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this
redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a
firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent
preparing your grip (for the record: three days).

He arrived for the interview at the Mission Ranch restaurant here as
if he owned the place, and it didn’t make any difference that, in this
case, he does. He had his first legal drink in the bar while he was
stationed at the nearby Army base in the late 1940s. In 1986 he bought
the property and rebuilt it to his taste, with a piano bar,
heart-stopping views of the ocean spray on Point Lobos and plenty of
meat on the menu. Despite what you might have read on Wikipedia, Mr.
Eastwood is not a vegan, and he looked slightly aghast when told
exactly what a vegan is. “I never look at the Internet for just that
reason,” he said.

It’s been 20 years since Mr. Eastwood was mayor of Carmel, but clearly
he’s still the king around here. Unlike the taciturn characters he
plays on screen, he’s voluble, chatting and laughing with his staff
with a sharpness and enthusiasm that make him seem far younger than
his age. After showing me around the property, he insisted I come back
that evening for a steak dinner. “We’ve got good chow,” he said. Go
on: you tell him you’ve made other plans.

Mr. Eastwood’s on familiar ground in another way. It’s coming up on
the Oscars, and he has two films in contention, “Changeling,” with
Angelina Jolie, and his newest, “Gran Torino,” which he finished
shooting only this summer and which began appearing in theaters on
Friday.

In “Gran Torino” Mr. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a Korean War
veteran, retired Ford line worker and full-time bigot who stews on his
porch in Detroit watching his block being taken over by Hmong
immigrants from Southeast Asia. When a gang pressures a teenager
living next door (played by Bee Vang) into trying to steal Walt’s
vintage Gran Torino, the aging veteran gets pulled reluctantly, then
violently, into the lives of his neighbors.

Mr. Eastwood has already won the best actor prize for “Gran Torino”
from the National Board of Review, and the Oscar talk ­ he has never
won as an actor ­ is running high. He claims not to care deeply about
awards. When asked whom he makes films for, Mr. Eastwood said, “You’re
looking at him.” Calculated or not ­ those films do have a habit of
showing up (sometimes unexpectedly) in prime Oscar campaigning season
­ that stance seems to charm the voters some 300 miles to the south in
Los Angeles, who have rewarded his movies richly in the past 15 years,
including two best-picture awards. Mr. Eastwood has become the George
Washington of the awards season: if called, he will serve. But he
doesn’t seem to believe in term limits.

“Gran Torino” is the 29th full-length movie Mr. Eastwood has directed
­ more than Scorsese, more even than Spielberg ­ so perhaps it’s an
accident of memory that his name first conjures up the impression of
the squinty guy on a horse. Starting in the mid-1980s he began to
change some minds by pushing the boundaries of his cowboys-and-cops
image with films like “Honkytonk Man” and “Tightrope,” but he said
about his reputation, “If that’s how people want to pigeonhole me,
that’s fine.”

If anything, his directing pace has picked up in the past five years.

The script for “Gran Torino” had been kicking around Hollywood for a
while before Mr. Eastwood read it. The writer, Nick Schenk, who worked
in a Ford plant years ago, based the character of Walt on the men he
met there, many of them Korean War veterans. “I’d talk a lot to these
guys, and they’d tell me stuff they wouldn’t tell their wife and
kids,” Mr. Schenk said.

Some directors are known as an actor’s best friend. Mr. Eastwood may
be the writer’s. “He didn’t change a word,” Mr. Schenk said. “That
never happens.”

Mr. Eastwood said he learned his lesson after making extensive
revisions on the script for “Unforgiven,” then calling up the writer,
David Peoples, and announcing he was returning to the first draft.
“I’m emasculating this thing,” he told Mr. Peoples.

There was one major disappointment for Mr. Schenk: the setting of
“Gran Torino” was shifted from Minneapolis to Detroit, the original
home of Ford and, not coincidentally, the home of 42 percent tax
credits for films made there. (That helped make it easy for Warner
Brothers to sign off on bankrolling the movie, something that hasn’t
always been a given in the studio’s relationship with the director.)

Mr. Eastwood bought the script in February, then shot the movie over
the summer at a guerrilla filmmaker’s pace, finishing in 32 days. The
fast clip, Mr. Eastwood said, helped him with the Hmong members of the
cast, most of whom had never acted and many of whom didn’t speak
English. “I’d give them little pointers along the way, Acting 101,” he
said. “And I move along at a rate that doesn’t give them too much of a
chance to think.”

It also doesn’t give Mr. Eastwood too much time to worry about
Hollywood. After shooting, he returned to Carmel, where he lives with
his wife, Dina Ruiz, and manages his investments, including an
ownership stake in the Pebble Beach golf course company. He set up a
bay and worked with his two film editors in an 1862 farmhouse on the
Mission property for a week or so. Between sessions he sat at the
piano and picked out a score: he has written music, including full
scores, for many of his films. He even sings one of his own melodies
over the film’s final credits, his voice burned down to a whisper.
(Mr. Eastwood himself refuses to call it singing because that conjures
up memories of “Paint Your Wagon,” the misbegotten 1969 musical. “I
vowed I’d never do that again,” he said.)

Like “Million Dollar Baby” and “Mystic River” before it, “Gran Torino”
is a modern story that feels anachronistic. Walt’s neighborhood is
every bit as bounded and knowable as the town of Lago in “High Plains
Drifter,” and the confrontations with the Hmong gang members build
methodically, as if in a town square. But when the film threatens to
descend into a vigilante picture ­ the last guy who actually thought
he could solve Detroit’s problems with his fists was Gordie Howe ­
“Gran Torino” takes some unexpected turns.

Before filming there had been gossip (again, the Internet) that Mr.
Eastwood was making another “Dirty Harry” sequel. What “Gran Torino”
does share with the “Dirty Harry” movies is the sheer force of its
incorrectness. Walt, who stokes his resentment with cigarettes, beef
jerky and Pabst Blue Ribbon, expresses his disgust for the Hmong and
just about every other racial group in a steady stream of obscenities.
Robert Lorenz, Eastwood’s frequent producing partner, said that what
he appreciated about Mr. Schenk’s dialogue was that “he didn’t hold
back.”

“It was left really raw,” he said. “It sounded like those people you
know, or your uncle saying something really bad at a wedding.”

Brian Grazer, a producer of “Changeling,” sees this kind of directness
as a strength. “What most interested me about Clint Eastwood as a
director is the honesty and intensity he injects into the movies that
he directs,” he said. “He is so confident as a director that he will
allow the sometimes ugliness of life to live inside the scenes of his
movies.”

For Mr. Eastwood the raw language is central to Walt’s story. “If he
comes in and just befriends these people and doesn’t have any hurdles
­ any personal hurdles to overcome ­ that doesn’t make for a very
interesting character,” he said. But Mr. Eastwood, who last spring had
a verbal run-in with Spike Lee over the lack of black soldiers in the
Eastwood film “Flags of Our Fathers,” also confesses to some sympathy
for Walt’s choice of words in a way sure to irk the Hollywood types
who have finally embraced him despite his libertarian politics.

“A lot of people are bored of all the political correctness,” he said.
“You’re showing a guy from a different generation. Show the way he
talks. The country has come a long way in race relations, but the
pendulum swings so far back. Everyone wants to be so” ­ here he paused
and narrowed his eyes, like Dirty Harry drawing a bead on a perp ­
“sensitive.”

What we admire about heroes (and villains) like the ones Mr. Eastwood
used to play isn’t their sensitivity, it’s their single-mindedness:
they say what they’re going to do, then do it. Whether in Spain or in
San Francisco, Mr. Eastwood’s heroes were never given the “kill one to
save a thousand” liberal trapdoor of other Hollywood films. The
violence of the “Dirty Harry” movies seems almost quaint now, but what
Harry says ­ “Ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky?” ­ still has
the power to shock.

But if Mr. Eastwood shoulders some blame for every “Rambo” and “Die
Hard” that followed, he should be given credit for looking at a more
complicated transaction in the films he directs, one where people’s
actions are at odds with their beliefs. What helps sell the
contradiction in “Gran Torino” is Mr. Eastwood’s own physical
presence. More so than any other leading man, he has been willing to
play his real age. At 78 he is perhaps thinner than he once was, but
in that sinewy way that reveals strength as much as diminishes it.
After Walt beats up one gang member ­ hey, he’s still Clint Eastwood ­
the next scene shows him out of breath, struggling to open his front
door.

To Mr. Eastwood being able to play 78 is just one of the benefits of a
long career. “It’s ridiculous when you won’t play your own age,” he
said. “You know when you’re young and you see a play in high school,
and the guys all have gray in their hair and they’re trying to be old
men and they have no idea what that’s like? It’s just that stupid the
other way around.”

The other benefit is that, even after a great career in the movies,
you can fashion another. “After ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,’ I
walk down the street and everybody would whistle out” ­ here he sang
the movie’s famous theme. “Then it became ‘Do I feel lucky?’ and ‘Make
my day.’ But it’s progressed along. Whether it’s taken this turn on
purpose, I can’t say.”

Walt Kowalski has a catchphrase too in “Gran Torino.” “This is what I
do,” he tells the Hmong teenager before the film’s final act. “I
finish things.” So does Mr. Eastwood, just not in the way anybody
would have expected.

And he may not be done. There were reports ­ again on the Internet ­
that this would be his last role, a rumor he helped fuel but now says
is not necessarily true.

“Somebody asked what I’d do next, and I said I didn’t know how many
roles there are for 78-year-old guys,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong
with coming in to play the butler. But unless there’s a hurdle to get
over, I’d rather just stay behind the camera.”




 
Date: 17 Feb 2009 14:13:08
From: Mortimer
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 16, 10:53=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com > wrote:
> NYT
> December 14, 2008
>
> The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> By BRUCE HEADLAM
>
> CARMEL, Calif.
>
> BEING introduced to Clint Eastwood is something like seeing a
> California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this
> redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a
> firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent
> preparing your grip (for the record: three days).

<snip >

Clint's a legend, but one movie I could NOT stand was The Bridges of
Madison County with Meryl Streep. I know, lots of people love this
movie and it definetly wasn't a flop in the box office. But, there was
no reason for Clint to do this movie. He didn't have to prove anything
in 1995.....


  
Date: 17 Feb 2009 18:54:13
From: amy
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 17, 6:47=A0pm, Raja <zepflo...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Feb 17, 4:13=A0pm, Mortimer <ECthaki...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Feb 16, 10:53=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > NYT
> > > December 14, 2008
>
> > > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> > > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>
> > > CARMEL, Calif.
>
> > > BEING introduced to Clint Eastwood is something like seeing a
> > > California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this
> > > redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a
> > > firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent
> > > preparing your grip (for the record: three days).
>
> > <snip>
>
> > Clint's a legend, but one movie I could NOT stand was The Bridges of
> > Madison County with Meryl Streep. I know, lots of people love this
> > movie and it definetly wasn't a flop in the box office. But, there was
> > no reason for Clint to do this movie. He didn't have to prove anything
> > in 1995.....
>
> But the real question is can he act. Any bozo can act like a pissed
> off cowboy.- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

wow, just wow (scratching head)


  
Date: 17 Feb 2009 16:47:53
From: Raja
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 17, 4:13=A0pm, Mortimer <ECthaki...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Feb 16, 10:53=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > NYT
> > December 14, 2008
>
> > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>
> > CARMEL, Calif.
>
> > BEING introduced to Clint Eastwood is something like seeing a
> > California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this
> > redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a
> > firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent
> > preparing your grip (for the record: three days).
>
> <snip>
>
> Clint's a legend, but one movie I could NOT stand was The Bridges of
> Madison County with Meryl Streep. I know, lots of people love this
> movie and it definetly wasn't a flop in the box office. But, there was
> no reason for Clint to do this movie. He didn't have to prove anything
> in 1995.....

But the real question is can he act. Any bozo can act like a pissed
off cowboy.



   
Date: 18 Feb 2009 01:36:26
From: Superdave
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 16:47:53 -0800 (PST), Raja <zepfloyes@gmail.com >
wrote:

>On Feb 17, 4:13 pm, Mortimer <ECthaki...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 16, 10:53 pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > NYT
>> > December 14, 2008
>>
>> > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>>
>> > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>>
>> > CARMEL, Calif.
>>
>> > BEING introduced to Clint Eastwood is something like seeing a
>> > California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this
>> > redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a
>> > firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent
>> > preparing your grip (for the record: three days).
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>> Clint's a legend, but one movie I could NOT stand was The Bridges of
>> Madison County with Meryl Streep. I know, lots of people love this
>> movie and it definetly wasn't a flop in the box office. But, there was
>> no reason for Clint to do this movie. He didn't have to prove anything
>> in 1995.....
>
>But the real question is can he act. Any bozo can act like a pissed
>off cowboy.


that's true. whisper is a good example.


  
Date: 18 Feb 2009 00:10:59
From: Superdave
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 14:13:08 -0800 (PST), Mortimer
<ECthaking1@gmail.com > wrote:

>On Feb 16, 10:53 pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> NYT
>> December 14, 2008
>>
>> The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>>
>> By BRUCE HEADLAM
>>
>> CARMEL, Calif.
>>
>> BEING introduced to Clint Eastwood is something like seeing a
>> California redwood for the first time. The difference is that this
>> redwood, even at the age of 78, reaches out to shake your hand with a
>> firmness that still intimidates no matter how much time you spent
>> preparing your grip (for the record: three days).
>
><snip>
>
>Clint's a legend, but one movie I could NOT stand was The Bridges of
>Madison County with Meryl Streep. I know, lots of people love this
>movie and it definetly wasn't a flop in the box office. But, there was
>no reason for Clint to do this movie. He didn't have to prove anything
>in 1995.....


ya know. i still love his spaghetti westerns a lot. and, the moricone
music.


 
Date: 17 Feb 2009 04:30:35
From: Stapler
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
"Superdave" <the.big.rst.kahuna@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:r3dkp4tjn2kj4447vmcana28hv7tehu3th@4ax.com...
> NYT
> December 14, 2008
>
> The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> By BRUCE HEADLAM


Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!



  
Date: 17 Feb 2009 18:53:01
From: amy
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 16, 11:30=A0pm, zepflo...@yahoo.com wrote:
> On Feb 16, 11:26=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 21:11:30 -0800 (PST), zepflo...@yahoo.com wrote:
> > >On Feb 16, 10:30=A0pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com> wrote:
> > >> "Superdave" <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> > >>news:r3dkp4tjn2kj4447vmcana28hv7tehu3th@4ax.com...
>
> > >> > NYT
> > >> > December 14, 2008
>
> > >> > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> > >> > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>
> > >> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!
>
> > >Go ahead make my day
>
> > That's what I do.
>
> Do you... punk?- Hide quoted text -
>
> - Show quoted text -

having a conversation with yourself to make others think you have
friends is most pathetic "superdave" i mean ragay


  
Date: 17 Feb 2009 09:00:50
From:
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 17, 3:30=A0am, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 08:12:34 GMT, "Stapler" <d...@d.com> wrote:

> >Is it highly stylized? Because one thing Clint's works are known for is =
lack
> >of stylization for the most part.
>
> I dunno. More like something I'd expect from Orson Well's I guess.
> Don't get me wrong it is a great movie (I really liked it). I just
> never would have guessed Clint directed it if I hadn't known.
>
> This just goes to show how great he is though in the variety of his
> work.

I liked Changeling. Good, but not great, and definitely better than
Gran Torino. Neither are among his best movies, IMO.

I see no similarity to anything Welles ever directed.


  
Date: 16 Feb 2009 21:46:26
From:
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 16, 11:30=A0pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com > wrote:

> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!

He's made some of my favorite movies. Unfortunately, Gran Torino is
not among them.


   
Date: 17 Feb 2009 07:16:41
From: Stapler
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
<cernunnos1@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:fc738a37-7ed3-41f8-8c18-c62d9065f6d9@u18g2000pro.googlegroups.com...
On Feb 16, 11:30 pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com > wrote:

> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!

>>He's made some of my favorite movies. Unfortunately, Gran Torino is
not among them.<<<

Some of my favs:

Play Misty for Me(1971)
High Plains Drifter(1973)
The Outlaw Josey Wales(1976)
Pale Rider(1985)
White Hunter, Black Heart(1990)
Unforgiven(1992)
Bloodwork(2002)
Million Dollar Baby(2004)
Gran Tarino(2008)

I'm going to see "Changeling" on DVD in the next 2 weeks. Might be Clint's
best ever.




    
Date: 17 Feb 2009 07:58:29
From: Superdave
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 07:16:41 GMT, "Stapler" <d@d.com > wrote:

><cernunnos1@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:fc738a37-7ed3-41f8-8c18-c62d9065f6d9@u18g2000pro.googlegroups.com...
>On Feb 16, 11:30 pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com> wrote:
>
>> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!
>
>>>He's made some of my favorite movies. Unfortunately, Gran Torino is
>not among them.<<<
>
>Some of my favs:
>
>Play Misty for Me(1971)
>High Plains Drifter(1973)
>The Outlaw Josey Wales(1976)
>Pale Rider(1985)
>White Hunter, Black Heart(1990)
>Unforgiven(1992)
>Bloodwork(2002)
>Million Dollar Baby(2004)
>Gran Tarino(2008)
>
>I'm going to see "Changeling" on DVD in the next 2 weeks. Might be Clint's
>best ever.
>

"Changeling" is really good. But it's very different from normal
Eastwood.


     
Date: 17 Feb 2009 08:12:34
From: Stapler
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
"Superdave" <the.big.rst.kahuna@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:udrkp4lt544c7qvfqpeldqunhpjkpud8f7@4ax.com...
>
> "Changeling" is really good. But it's very different from normal
> Eastwood.


Is it highly stylized? Because one thing Clint's works are known for is lack
of stylization for the most part.



      
Date: 17 Feb 2009 08:30:03
From: Superdave
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 08:12:34 GMT, "Stapler" <d@d.com > wrote:

>"Superdave" <the.big.rst.kahuna@gmail.com> wrote in message
>news:udrkp4lt544c7qvfqpeldqunhpjkpud8f7@4ax.com...
>>
>> "Changeling" is really good. But it's very different from normal
>> Eastwood.
>
>
>Is it highly stylized? Because one thing Clint's works are known for is lack
>of stylization for the most part.


I dunno. More like something I'd expect from Orson Well's I guess.
Don't get me wrong it is a great movie (I really liked it). I just
never would have guessed Clint directed it if I hadn't known.

This just goes to show how great he is though in the variety of his
work.


  
Date: 16 Feb 2009 21:30:34
From:
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 16, 11:26=A0pm, Superdave <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com > wrote:
> On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 21:11:30 -0800 (PST), zepflo...@yahoo.com wrote:
> >On Feb 16, 10:30=A0pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com> wrote:
> >> "Superdave" <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> >>news:r3dkp4tjn2kj4447vmcana28hv7tehu3th@4ax.com...
>
> >> > NYT
> >> > December 14, 2008
>
> >> > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> >> > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>
> >> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!
>
> >Go ahead make my day
>
> That's what I do.

Do you... punk?


  
Date: 16 Feb 2009 21:11:30
From:
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Feb 16, 10:30=A0pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com > wrote:
> "Superdave" <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>
> news:r3dkp4tjn2kj4447vmcana28hv7tehu3th@4ax.com...
>
> > NYT
> > December 14, 2008
>
> > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>
> > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>
> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!

Go ahead make my day


   
Date: 17 Feb 2009 05:26:53
From: Superdave
Subject: Re: Clint Eastwood: The Films Are for Him. Got That?
On Mon, 16 Feb 2009 21:11:30 -0800 (PST), zepfloyes@yahoo.com wrote:

>On Feb 16, 10:30 pm, "Stapler" <d...@d.com> wrote:
>> "Superdave" <the.big.rst.kah...@gmail.com> wrote in message
>>
>> news:r3dkp4tjn2kj4447vmcana28hv7tehu3th@4ax.com...
>>
>> > NYT
>> > December 14, 2008
>>
>> > The Films Are for Him. Got That?
>>
>> > By BRUCE HEADLAM
>>
>> Cool. Clint is my all time favorite actor & director!
>
>Go ahead make my day


That's what I do.