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Messages - Kumara

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Finally I was able to watch it, and I'm still in mid water crossing as to find out how I liked it; at the same time I'm right now listening to the 'Gran Torino' song while typing, and I find it tells me so much about this movie as well: I've listened to it some 10 times and more, it's a hunting tune, and love its melancholy, it has a heart! just like this movie
It beats
A lonely rhythm
All night long

I second that! If someone would like to have a listening to the exceptional work this cat has done as a young player, I suggest a nice collection of tunes from 1951 to 1954 by Dreyfus Jazz Reference beautifully remastered on CD: 'Solid', btw one of his greatest tune; in this compilation I also love 'Silk 'n' Satin' with a very special evocative trumpet by Kenny Dorham and the amazing 'No Moe'... O0
Talking about tenors, even if my closest ideal has always been John Coltrane for his fearlessness and depth of focus in the unknown sound space, I'm so glad Sonny is still so alive and moving: I also heard they had been good friends (refer to Trane's tune 'Like Sonny (Simple Like)), and there is one unique recording where they're both playing together Rollins' 'Tenor Madness'....

Theodore 'Sonny' Rollins: a small clip at the Monterey Jazz Festival on the main page
Maybe is this a wider project titled <Wit and Wisdom of Sonny Rollins & Clint Eastwood>?...

Just to re-live this thread... ;)
I'm still waiting my SE DVDs to come, but I hope to see (and eventually hear), beside the two great films (FOOF and Letters), exciting new materials.
As for the deleted scene, sometimes the directors are pushed by the production to cut to reasonable time their movies, as in the case with The Thin Red Line (I'm still waiting a 'director's cut' edition of this great movie), and at other times they are just pushed to CHANGE something to conform to the marketing's guys requests, as in the infamous case of Blade Runner's ending... So, if Clint has nothing to complain about his work, I still may like to see some different cuts or shots left over, just to further my understanding why HE made those choices...
As for the Audio commentaries, as already wrote in this thread, some are excellent, while others are just boring: I've listened to all the Audio's commentaries of the Lord of The Rings Trilogy SE, and especially that from Jackson and the writers I found it both entertaining and interesting, giving you a deeper insight in why they made the film as it is.
Maybe Clint wouldn't like to spend so much time in just TALKING about what he actually have MADE for us to see, so I can understand his position if he decides not to include an audio commentary, even if I would have enjoyed it anyway...  :-X
BTW, anyone can tell me if actually THERE is an Audio commentary on the SE of FOOF and LFIJ?!?

Eastwood News / Re: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA - Poor UK Cinema Status
« on: March 11, 2007, 07:11:28 AM »
Well, friends, I know we're drifting from the original thread here, but somehow it's kind of related to the choice of distributing the movie and allowing a wider public to appreciate this great piece of cinema; finally I've seen Letters from Iwo Jima (I had to travel about 50 miles to Milan to do it) and I greatly appreciate it: it's a beautiful war movie and an excellent personal drama, very moving and with a great cast of actors; I also liked very much the accuracy of all the details, and the excellency of cinematography, as was in the case with Flags: but I also have noticed I now have a memory only of characters' expressions, more than the general images of the motion picture, as it happened with Flags; and you know what? I've realized this is because of those darned subtitles! Even if the phrases are short and quite clear, your eyes always go there to quickly grasp the meaning of what's happening on screen, and so you lose fragments of the great images on the silver screen... As I wrote already, in my opinion a well dubbed film is way better and easier to follow and let yourself free to appreciate the flowing of the camera's motions, as well as the grand effort made by the cinematographer to 'paint with light', and give the right 'atmosphere' and color to the specific shots... Beside this considerations, I'm sure I'd like to see it again, taking my time to just see the frames' flow.

Eastwood News / Re: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA - Poor UK Cinema Status
« on: March 01, 2007, 08:21:41 AM »
Well, I don't know about subtitles' kind, but for sure I don't want them all the time present on a movie frame: e.g. I have an Italian version of the 'History of The American Cinema' DVD by Scorsese, where you cannot switch off the subtitles; a very poor use of the medium, I should say, since the DVD very easily allow you to include multiple text files in different languages to use them as subtitles if the user wishes to. Or none at all...
BTW, thinking about many of the Kurosawa movie I've seen dubbed in Italian, I should say they sounded as excellent actors' work, with exactly the right kind of voices and expressions for the Japanese characters: as far as the translators are good at their work, as are the actors dubbing their counterparts, I cannot really accept all that fuss about the 'original' language... Or, as with the Elves in Lord Of The Ring, just to add a layer of sound effects on the soundtrack for aesthetic purposes...

Eastwood News / Re: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA - Poor UK Cinema Status
« on: February 26, 2007, 06:51:59 AM »
We should add to this thread's title 'Poor Uk and WORLDWIDE...' since here in Italy is the same situation: only in the main cities (Milan, Rome, Turin) you'll have a chance to see this film. I believe the distributors are not willing to risk another 'FOOF' flop (when I saw that movie in the cinema we were about five people), and furthermore it's a Japanese language movie, and here the general public seldom see under titled movie anyway. If the movie was going to win some main Oscars, it might have helped, but now I fear I would have to travel 50 miles, or wait to buy the DVDs (which was my intention anyway)...  >:(

Eastwood News / Re: LETTERS/FLAGS: Oscar Speculation Thread
« on: February 15, 2007, 07:11:48 AM »
Doug I'm with you: for sure Scorsese after all his great movies deserves a personal reward from the Academy; I believe he never got a director's award, isn't it? Even if I still have to see Letters (only tomorrow will come out on the screens here), I'm almost sure our Clint deserves the same for his last challenging work on this 'diptico', even if only to the 'second half' of it...

Eastwood News / Re: Eastwood Producing Documentary on Tony Bennett
« on: February 14, 2007, 07:50:23 AM »
Good Lord, I don't want to start a flame here...  ^-^
It happens I just had a beautiful eve' listening and watching a nice DVD 'bout Count Basie's 50th year on the stage celebration at Carnegie Hall: sure I LOVE the man and his great talent; guest stars were there too, and between them Mr. Bennett, who replaced (!) the bass, the drums and EVEN the piano player in a couple of tunes (all from Duke Ellington!!!), so Count was just seated beside on a chair enjoying the Bennett's show: if that is not EGO, I don't know... Sure he knows how to sing, but there he came after such GREAT SINGER as Joe Williams and a GREAT MUSICIAN as George Benson, who made great performances on Basie's standards: they are just another breed...
Bennett was not alone in his Ego Performance, since he was soon followed by Sarah Vaughan, using again another rhythmic section, with the Count already 'retired' and ready to 'depart'... Oh, well, I may be wrong: after all these singers have their 'repertoire' and need their faithful musicians to perform, and surely enough they were very affectionate towards the Count, but HEY, everyone who loves Jazz cannot be in LOVE with the Great Basie! this is very personal, but I'm not feeling so much sympathy for Mr. Bennett, and there are crores of excellent jazz and blues musicians who better deserve to be remembered and celebrated before him...  :-\

Update: ahem, last night I saw another DVD recorded in Montreux in the 70ties... 'Count meets Ella: a perfect match'. I should add 'barely' meets, since only in the last tune they are together on the stage. OK, the band plays for all of them great singers, and usually these 'vocalists' are playing from their repertoire: i.e. Ella sung tunes she had been singing when she was with Chick Webb at the Savoy, and she had as well in this concert her own rhythmic trio playing along with the big band...  ::)
I've to admit to everyone I'm not such a lover of singers in jazz, except a very few notable instances; maybe I share the same feeling of Chan Parker as described in BIRD when listening on the radio to someone singing on the notes of 'Parker's Mood' feeling outraged, while the Bird himself was amused... Anyhow, one thing I quite liked about Mr. Bennett in the DVD I was talking about, in an interview before the concert he said listening to the Basie's swing was such a joy, an uplifting experience.

Eastwood News / Re: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA at the Berlin Film Festival
« on: February 13, 2007, 06:42:55 AM »
Hi KC!  :)
Yes, I also had some doubts about my translation, so you're welcome here...  O0
Well, about the Manichee you may be perfectly right in presuming he used another term: as for the Manichean they believed the good and evil ones have their innate nature 'fixed up', so they would never redeem or change themselves at the end of time; this absolutist concept doesn't really belong to the world of Man, and to believe someone is absolutely wrong and evil, while another is absolutely right and good, and this is for ever, nullify the history of Mankind, Philosophy and ultimately Religion, in its True sense; so I also believe Clint might as well used that word, just to signify in his last endeavor (this Iwo Jima diptico), humans fighting a war are as if forced into Manicheans, believing their enemies as 'evil', but afterwards, when the guns are silent and the trumpets fade, they can only realize they have all being just humans all the way, sharing the same pains and fears, even though we should admit their different motivations....
My 2 cents...  ;)

And here for those of you like Kc who can read Italian, another more articulated interview :

Lately I ONLY buy DVDs special editions, to enjoy all the gossips therein... >:D
Seriously, sure enough I'll wait to buy the Iwo Jima 'Diptico' together and hopefully with very special contents (not just trailers!)  O0

Eastwood News / Re: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA at the Berlin Film Festival
« on: February 12, 2007, 09:43:58 AM »
Just today there is a short interview on an Italian newspaper from an Italian cinema critic inside a wider article about the movie itself and the very good reception it has from the audience there; there are only a few questions, but with interesting answers: here is the link for those who can read Italian... the question of being accused to be a rightist from the leftist as an actor, and being now thought as a traitor from the rightist, Clint answers:
One is always a traitor for someone, especially if you put yourself in the other's garment like I've done here. But who has wrote such stupid thing, has done it without even seeing the film.
From Callaghan and Gunny how you came to Letters?
Reading books: in this case reading the letters from general Kuribayashi.
How do you choose books then?
From affinity to an opera, more than to an author: it was a lightning stroke.
Were you choosing in such manner as an actor as well...?
While acting you seldom go deeper. But as a director you have to know what you like to tell.
Another book was also the inspiration for Flags of Our Fathers...
Yes, Bradley's memoirs, an hero recipient of the highest decoration from the Navy, who became such, as it often happens, when he less expected it. Usually in such dare moments, one is frozen by fear.
Both movies use a cinematography with a minimum of colors...
I've chosen to de-saturate colors to get more depth of field, but also because I've been grown up with black and white movies.
The more dramatic is the scene, the less color you see. And 'vicecersa'...
Yes, this is a way to render the hardness of war, to remember that, beside the pain of who's wounded or dying, there is also who's loosing a husband or a son.
How do you define yourself?
I can only say as I do not want to be defined: a manichee.

The manichee here I believe is meant as a hopeless faith, where there is no redemption for the evil nature...  8)

Hello Ben,
thanks for the news: for sure I hope this strategy may help to 'resurrect' Flags in the Box Office... Odd how this movie has made almost everyone uncertain, and it seems to reflect this situation at the counter.
Maybe Letters would make the spectator more involved if it will depict the characters more thoroughly, if they have some qualities after all, or if it follows the action more kind of sequentially...
Flags leaves you spaced out, but quite with your feet grounded, and if I greatly appreciate this after some hours, I can also understand the difficulties it may brings to the general public (I hate I used this term!  :P)...
Flags quite deserves to be re-considered: as soon as I can get a whole 4 DVD box of this 'diptico' I would jump on it!

Dear Friends,
as the hours pass I’m more convinced about the great quality of Flags: in its ‘cutup’ way leaves you with a kind of ‘after taste’ hard to fathom in its complexity; I mean,  you’re following (ahem, or preceding, depending on the cut you’re looking at) a real historic factual actions of human beings involved in a wider Historical act: the true story of Mr. ‘Doc’ Bradley and his comrades while pulling up a replacement flag on the mount Suribachi in the isle of Iwojima during the first days of a hellish battle that will last for many more days; on that spot a great war photographer, Joe Rosenthal, takes a picture going to become a symbol to the American Nation and People of the bravery and abnegation of their young sons.

The western culture as usual place the individual as above the multitude of humans, but in fact this hypocrite celebration has nothing to do with the reality of experience: the only true hero depicted in the movie, the Sergeant who doesn’t want to leave his inexperienced men refusing a promotion, to share with them all the dangers of fighting, is killed by friendly fire. Also the common details of the genre are left out: the personalities of the different soldiers are almost left out; just a bunch of innocent and simple guys whose lives will be shattered quite soon. The great display of the collective effort and power leading them to the crushing wheel through a deluge of naval and air fire and bombardment, is nonetheless useless to conquer a ridiculous very small and smelly patch of black sand in the Pacific Ocean: they will have to slog all their way up to the top of the only ominous mountain.

None comes out without scares after the bloody and hellish battle, nor through the following collective war propagandistic show.

In the book ‘Goodbye Darkness’ by William Manchester, an ex sergeant of the 29th Marine, he is traveling back to the old battlefields of the Pacific Theatre, trying at the same time to recollect his own memories, only to find all their sacrifices were looking as useless in some sense, since he now finds his own enemies better established in those areas as before the war; he also reflects on many other issues about the war and the politics behind it, and tells many personal and less known anecdotes of those battles.

I quite love and admire the choices Clint has made in this movie: the collective takes over the individual, and after using the person, leaves it just as that, impersonally. The true heroes go unrecognized: nothing human, nothing left for the weak humans, who are all crushed. Still there is hope, as in the (very) private life of a ‘Doc’ who had to kill a life to save another (one of the great moments of the film), and wanted just to forget it all, except maybe we all have to die one day, and conform himself to a life to take care of what’s left behind, the corpse.

And here comes my last meditation: since we’re now so eager to see ‘Letters from IwoJima’, what this man we all love and admire will show us? The eastern culture goes backward, in the sense the individual has to disappear to become collective, and so gets no recognition as such; under this concept, the Japanese soldiers going to war, were celebrated by their people with a funeral ceremony! No hope for them, but the same hypocrisy: the heroism as the selling ideal, for other motives, of course.

Finally we are just and plainly, and painfully, human beings: why are we dragged to act as senseless beings without heart or intelligence? Are we really free to choose? At what cost? We are made to believe more to the outer appearance of life than to life itself; we believe in a picture where there are no faces.

Kc, I'm not sure how the festivalgoers in Torino have reacted to the movie: I've read a couple of review on the press, and they are quite discordant; one critic, usually very outspoken and pityless, was praising the movie; another was almost rude...
For those who can read Italian here are a couple of links:

the domain says it all, even if the critic here may have some points to it...
This is an exclusive interview:

Unluckily I fear the interviewer here may be an idiot, but the answers Clint gives are always straight and interesting...

PS: these are three links to different articles wrote by critics (two of them are women) after the Turin Film Festival, and before, at least for two of them, the actual distribution of the film (here the 10th November); all are VERY positive, and intelligent... :) One contains also very good pictures of the movie; all are in Italian.

Here in Italy it only came on the screen today, and I jumped in at the first show. I fully agree with the observations so well made by dws1982 and from the 1st writer in this thread, Holden Pike; if I may add a note, I've really appreciated one thing about this war movie, and I presume it was a straight choice from Clint: NO COMPLACENCY above all...
So therefore no flying bullets back and forth in dolby surround, no detailed amputations staying on screen for more than a thousand frames, no assault on fort Apache, etc. BTW have you noticed (Captain Severance) Neal McDonough and (Seargent Strank) Barry Pepper were acting in two war productions that had put their marks on the genre (Saving Private Ryan and Band Of Brothers)?
Having read the book a long time ago, I don't recall it as a 'novel' where one of the characters stand out to intrigue you: I mean, Mr. Bradly is 'reported' by his son as a man who never told his own people about the war he had witness, including the friendships and the pain of that loss too.
Since I've read some first hand experiences about WWII (I suggest you may read 'With the Old Breed', for one), all those intense moments of struggle and horror, are just expanded with the staying memories and recollections, but they happens just as that, as moments (and in the total Chaos, for that).
Again I agree you have to adapt the means of expressions you're using to convey your message to others: but maybe this was the real intention of this movie after all...

PPSS: it was a very grand accurate depiction to the minute detail (Digital Domain has done an excellent job); the only historical fault I got, was the Nipon machine gunner in the valley was firing a British BREN and not the NAMBU... but who really cares?  >:D

Eastwood News / Re: Flags of Our Fathers production news [merged]
« on: October 05, 2006, 08:30:55 AM »
I'm now sure this epic work will be most touching and heavy hitting at the same time: Consciousness will be awakened to a deeper level of understanding about us as collective animals and our mindless endeavour to distruction... Ahem, I don't mean to sound too much pretentious, but I was surely very much impressed by the image and scene about the young marine lost at sea; I was also VERY much impressed by the Japanese/American trailer where I detected an accuracy unprecedented! It quite look so real to me...
First Pvt Ryan introduced to us as an audience the brutality and horror of combat, but the story lacked a bit of authenticity, after all; then there came the Red Line, which I deem as the most accurate psychological insight about nature and the fighting man; now this will for sure link up those two, and bring them to the topmost level: if Leone was able after all to make his Leningrad, I'm sure he would have done something in this direction too; Clint is such a BRAVE man to put on the screen such theme in this time: I feel already grateful, and will be more after I'll see these movies...

Very interesting pictures! As a history buff's I praise the exactness of the japanese weapons and tanks shown: finally a faithful Jap tank, and not an USArmy tank of any period shown with the Nipon flag painted on the star... ;)

General Discussion / Re: Mystic River: why 'Mystic'?
« on: April 04, 2006, 07:56:16 AM »
KC, thanks and apologies: surely this thread belongs to this section... I also was looking for this subject, I mean a discussion about this movie, on the forum, but I wasn't able to find it... :-\
Errata Corrige: ahem, I found them threads all right, but too many!   :o
Anyway, I understand I'm coming some four years 'late' to discuss about this movie... ::)

General Discussion / Mystic River: why 'Mystic'?
« on: April 04, 2006, 07:20:22 AM »
Hi Everybody!
Last night I had the chance to see this movie on digital TSR1 (Television de Suisse Romande)... and now I'm feeling depressed; its message seems to be: in the real life the victims and the weaks have no redemption, and justice will not prevail. The actors are quite good, as it's the directing, cinematography, etc. I mean, technically I appreciate this movie, but the story is not at all convincing... And I'm not thinking about the script!
OK, maybe now and then you should be allowed to express disillusion and depressing thoughts, expecially with an age after so many experiences, but... what about the intelligence of appreciating the beauty of the rose flower, avoiding to get cought in its thorns?

All the Best!

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