News: Now showing in theaters: CRY MACHO, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood!

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Messages - LB13

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I think I agree with AKA23. While I get the argument that the scene is meant to show the stranger as some vengeful bastard, I don't think it gets the message across -- at least for me, I don't see how rape can be seen in any way as an act of justice. There isn't any behavior that could warrant sexual violence, and no act of sexual violence is any way rewarding. To me, it just undermines the stranger's portrayal as the sort of vengeful but righteous presence that brings punishment to those who were complicit in the murder of Marshal Duncan. The rest of the film portrays him as a kind of anti-hero, but his taking advantage of that woman pushes him over the edge to be a villain in my eyes. While I agree we may have needed something to portray the stranger as more evil in contrast to the Man with No Name, I think the choice to make it an act of rape was misguided. I can think of situations in film when killing is justified -- I can't think of a situation in which sexual violence is.

I think Paul Walter Hauser is a very talented actor, and between Richard Jewell and these rumors of him starring in Tarantino's The Movie Critic, I'm glad to see him getting more prominent roles.

I still have so many questions about Juror #2. I think the John Grisham comparison is spot-on, and I wonder why Clint chose this project in particular for what could be his last film. At surface level, it doesn't strike me as very personal; whereas in the case of Clint's biopics or even Cry Macho, these films could be interpreted as deconstructions of classic Hollywood characters, we are yet to see how Juror #2 connects to that. What does Eastwood have in common with a juror who realizes he's guilty of the crime he's supposed to make a decision on? Some statement about reserving judgement? A commentary being a part of the Hollywood culture? A feeling of repressed guilt? Who knows.

Also, I think this is the longest beard we've seen him wear in his lifetime. Man looks like Noam Chomsky.

Thank you for this interview! I'm very intrigued by the story of Richard Tuggle - a guy just sits down, writes a screenplay, somehow gets it to Don Siegel, who then makes a movie out of it with Clint Eastwood. It could be a movie in itself. The questions you posed and the answers Tuggle provided were very informative and I was glad to learn more about Escape from Alcatraz - I'd have to agree with Tuggle that it really did contain everything it should have.

General Discussion / Clint Eastwood As Brand
« on: September 10, 2023, 03:13:00 AM »
I was thinking the other day about how Clint has maintained his brand and persona throughout his career. He's somehow Hollywood's perhaps most iconic figure, yet also always seems more individualistic, independent of Hollywood.

One way this manifests is his famous reluctance to film commercials; as far as I'm aware, the only commercial Clint ever appeared in was the Super Bowl Chrysler ad. I wonder: why did he choose this ad in particular? I'm confident it wasn't about the money, since he's probably been getting tons of lucrative propositiions throughout his career. How did the Chrysler ad fit in with the Clint Eastwood persona?

There are also the brands he owns. There's Pale Rider Ale, which was promoted under the tagline: You didn't expect Clint Eastwood to make a salad dressing, did you? An obvious jab at Paul Newman's business ventures, it always struck me as a slogan that's paradoxically very much unlike Clint; to my knowledge, he has only consumed moderate amounts of alcohol throughout his life and has been eating healthily for a very long time. I would expect Clint Eastwood to use salad dressing, but somehow, that's not the Clint Eastwood brand that he's trying to sell. He's not trying to sell Clint Eastwood the fit guy who would go on to make films until his 90s; instead, he contrasts himself to Paul Newman and he's trying to sell Clint Eastwood the macho persona of some of the characters he plays. Again: how did Pale Rider Ale commodify Clint Eastwood? How did it fit with Clint Eastwood's public image? Had he had the opportunity, would Eastwood have agreed to promote a product not associated with his macho persona - suppose, vitamin water? Or would that somehow conflict with his image he's trying to project?

Similarly to the Pale Rider Ale marketing campaign, Clint seemed to blur lines between his real self and his fictional characters in some non-profit campaigns. Take his appearance with Nancy Reagan in the 1980s anti-drug campaign: or the video he filmed for the environmental organization Take Pride In America: - the latter one in particular looking like some weird adaptation of 1980s Dirty Harry. Clint seems to be able to be playful with his on-screen persona as long as it's benefitting a cause he perceives as noble. This is especially interesting considering how in much of his film career he has challenged this very persona, even in his latest effort Cry Macho.

So I'm curious: what do you all think about the way Clint has maintained and evolved his image as a brand? When is he willing to give in into the commercial  aspects - giving the masses what they expect from the guy who played Dirty Harry - and where does he draw the line? With a career as illustrious as his, many would be tempted to commodify themselves after the first few hits - keep playing the same character over and over again and watch the money roll in. Naturally, Clint was never about this - he has always challenged himself to somehow take the extra step and evolve. He has, however, shown that he would be willing to take a step back and enjoy some self-awareness - from his PSAs and business ventures, to his recent foray into action figures. What is the quintessential Clint Eastwood persona to you?

I think we're getting a glimpse of that with the number of AI covers of songs that are being made right now. I heard a computer Frank Sinatra cover songs such as "Young and Beautiful" by Lana Del Rey or "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio. I'd lie if I said it wasn't an enjoyable experience, and I believe some interesting combinations can come out of that, but, at the end of the day, I don't think it's just Sinatra's voice that we've been missing. It's his personality, it's his presence, his creativity, what he brought into the rooms he stepped in. Maybe we're not far removed from a version of Dirty Harry that uses AI to put Sinatra in the lead role (as he was briefly attached to the project in real life, while Clint was busy making Misty), and it might provide for an interesting viewing, but it will be just a reproduction of existing material.

Same goes for any AI Eastwood - sure, the project may be fine in its own right, but I think, as fans of Clint Eastwood, we're not drawn to his soft voice or his squinting eyes. We're drawn to Clint Eastwood the person - Clint Eastwood the person can choose his films, his scripts, his roles. His presence in a film is a statement of its own, it's what the film tells us about Eastwood himself. What is he trying to say by this decision? Why does he act this scene this particular way? What commentary is he making, and on what?

I believe that, with AI, we're entering a new era of not just cinema, but history in general, comparable in significane to the invention of the printing press. An actor, a musician, now is not just their physical qualities - those can be reproduced. We're trying to find an "essence" of what made them the people they were. If Eastwood isn't just the way he minimalistically utters his lines - what is he? If Sinatra wasn't just his singing voice - what was he?

I try to keep an open mind about it. I have no doubt in my mind that AI may someday produce a film that I'd find enjoyable. But now more than ever, the job of creating meaning, is dependent on us as the audience. Suppose AI generates a new Johnny Cash song - AI didn't have the fight for the common man in mind when it made the song. It's a computer, it doesn't know what it's like being handed the short end of the stick in life. But maybe that's how I interpret this new song - it's not that far from how we clash regarding our interpretation of art today. For some, Taxi Driver is a study of loneliness. For some, Taxi Driver is a study of how New York is a $#!thole. Who's to say who's right? Scorsese? Schrader? I think it's whoever watches the film.

I'm confident we're now about to witness a string of those gimmick-y uses of AI in film or in music that use AI as an extension of existing material. Somebody's going to make a song featuring a deceased musician, somebody's going to make a film starring a deceased actor. Fair enough, maybe I'll get some kick out of it - the Terence Hill/Bud Spencer Trinity films act as my comfort cinema, so maybe I'd actually enjoy an AI-generated new instalment in the series. But it would be sad to forever live in the past, with AI reproducing the same kind of film over and over and over again to a point where nothing new is being made, there are no risks taken, no challenges made.

We're still in the early stages of the AI revolution - as with many new technologies throughout history, we now try to use it as a tool. When they started making movies in the first place, they'd essentially do them like plays in theater, only recorded. Cinema only became great when it stopped trying to be theater and learned how to stand on its own legs; when it learned how to use the motion picture technology to tell stories in a way that only motion picture technology could. Same will happen to AI - and only time can tell what AI can bring us.


According to the extras casting sheets from Savannah, the Georgia part of the shooting is supposed to have finished yesterday. Any news on the Los Angeles shoots?

For anyone that needed additional convincing, I think these recent updates regarding "Juror #2" pretty conclusively prove that that "official" account is fake. They aren't posting any photos that have not first been posted by others (they even cropped a woman out of the photo) the quality of the photos in many cases is terrible, and taken from quite a distance, which is why they are so out of focus, which an official site would never post. They would want really high quality photos to represent the Eastwood brand and get people excited about how great the movie looks and Eastwood is doing on the set. Also, the site posted that the film would begin filming when the writer's strike ends, but the writer's strike is ongoing, and they are still filming. I think the day after they posted this, they started filming, or two days later. Additionally, Eastwood would never approve photos of himself in bathing suits and the like, especially at an older age. He is extremely private and this is just not something he would want the public to see. I'm curious. Does anyone disagree with this and still think this is an official site? If no, why continue to pay attention to it? I'm wondering what value it may be bringing for some of you.

I agree. It is strange that they have a blue tick and haven't been blocked yet.

General Discussion / Re: Happy Birthday!!!
« on: May 31, 2023, 01:12:52 PM »
Happy birthday to the man himself!

General Discussion / Re: The Official MEMBER INTRODUCTIONS Thread
« on: May 28, 2023, 05:32:59 AM »
Welcome, Keef1974!

I gave The Outlaw Josey Wales a rewatch the other day. It still is unique among the many revisionist westerns of the 1970s in my opinion. There are many conflicting views showcased, yet they are all shown with clarity and appropriate weight. No wonder this was when Eastwood really made a name for himself as a director. I even read Orson Welles was a fan.

Alright, I can't resist but ask - is there any news of a potential extra casting call for this film? I have occasionally been an extra on some productions, and if this indeed is the last film that Clint Eastwood is ever going to make, I thought what the hell, why not give it a try.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2023 Movie Discussion
« on: April 18, 2023, 10:59:43 AM »
I saw Air and I thought it was a fine film. Between it and Top Gun Maverick, the everything-is-possible attitude of the 1980s films seems to be in vogue lately. American Dream lives on, but matured.

I know the guy's 92, but somehow it still is difficult to imagine that he really did say okay, this is the last one. Not that I'm discrediting the sources. It was gonna happen at some point.

Eastwood News / Re: Clint Eastwood’s next project
« on: April 12, 2023, 01:34:54 PM »
Wild thought, but Austin Butler came to mind. He's a great actor and I think he gives off a certain energy that reminds me of a young Eastwood. 

Eastwood News / Re: Clint Eastwood’s next project
« on: April 01, 2023, 12:19:02 AM »
I saw the part about him writing in a tweet from DiscussingFilm - don't know if there's any truth to it, though.

Eastwood News / Re: Clint Eastwood’s next project
« on: March 30, 2023, 11:41:09 PM »
Am I getting this right? He's not just directing and producing, he's also writing? Goddamn, Clint. May he prosper in his new career.

The premise kind of reminds me of The Ox-Bow Incident, which I know Eastwood is a fan of.

Questions & Answers / Re: Layer definition
« on: January 22, 2023, 10:02:33 AM »
In these translations, they often don't translate word-for-word, so I don't know if any of us would be able to tell unless we had seen the film in Italian. Going by the description, it sounds like it could be one of the Dirty Harry movies. I can't be sure which, but maybe somebody else can.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Favorite Current TV Shows
« on: January 16, 2023, 10:35:40 AM »
The first episode of HBO's The Last of Us looks promising. Think No Country For Old Men meets Chernobyl. With zombies. There's even a Clint Eastwood reference, so consider me sold.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: The Celebrity Obituary Thread
« on: January 01, 2023, 02:32:33 PM »
I remember there used to be a longer video of her talking to Clint, up on YouTube, but I cannot find it right now. I remember they were talking somewhere in the mountains near Carmel, and Eastwood mentioned how a walk in those regions helped him calm down.

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