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


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AKA23
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« Reply #220 on: February 04, 2021, 05:37:15 PM »

This is categorized as a neo-Western, since it has "Western themes" but is set in the 1970s. But I've never really been onboard with that term. To me, if a film or a show is not set in the Western era, it doesn't feel like a true Western to me. Even things like "Yellowstone" that are set in present day that involve Western themes don't feel the same to me as a Western. Even "Hell and High Water" didn't to me. If it's not set in the Western era, it feels less like a Western than it does a movie or show that is a dramatic story that is either set in the South or that is about something centering around ranchers with people riding around on horses! What does everyone else think? Does anyone else feel similarly to me about the neo-Western concept?
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Perry
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« Reply #221 on: February 05, 2021, 06:59:33 AM »


     Aka23.. Really??.. What I saw was a trailer with Eastwood and a young kid holding a cockbird I would guess walking and another shot  of gun fire and a close up shot of Eastwood... Then the words of CRY MACHO... This was a short trailer for HBO Max.. Looked real to me.. I'm confused... Lol...
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Hocine
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« Reply #222 on: February 05, 2021, 09:47:35 AM »

This is categorized as a neo-Western, since it has "Western themes" but is set in the 1970s. But I've never really been onboard with that term. To me, if a film or a show is not set in the Western era, it doesn't feel like a true Western to me. Even things like "Yellowstone" that are set in present day that involve Western themes don't feel the same to me as a Western. Even "Hell and High Water" didn't to me. If it's not set in the Western era, it feels less like a Western than it does a movie or show that is a dramatic story that is either set in the South or that is about something centering around ranchers with people riding around on horses! What does everyone else think? Does anyone else feel similarly to me about the neo-Western concept?


I understand what you mean and I agree with you, AKA23

Anyway, this subject is really interesting
Actually, the Western genre is probably my favourite cinema genre

Logically, the Western genre is supposed to be about an era of American History, mostly in the nineteenth century, if I am correct
It is also about a geographical territory: America, of course, and especially the territory from Mississippi River to Pacific Ocean
That is what you probably called "the Western era", AKA23

There is a French expression for calling that era: "La Conquete de l'Ouest", literally The Conquest of the West

Cinema appeared around 1895, at the end of the Western era
The first American films, like The Great Train Robbery in 1903, and the American cinema in general were probably inspired by that era

So, many film critics talk about modern Western or neo-Western, when they talk about films which contain some Western themes, some Western codes or some Western spirit

For instance, I read many times that Dirty Harry is a modern Western or urban western
In many ways, Inspector Callahan acts like a cow boy or a marshall, or at least, how they were supposed to act
His sense of justice seems to be like the supposed sense of justice of the pioneers of the western era
For example, he does not hesitate to use his gun and to use violence, because of his sense of justice, like the pioneers of the western era were supposed to do

Even Bronco Billy is sometimes considered as a western because of the Wild West Show

Star Wars is usually considered as a western in the space

Even the Marvel films are sometimes considered as modern westerns

The Coen Brothers' No Country For Old Men looks like a western but it is not really a western at the same time

So, it is a rich and complex debate

Finally, you can put anything you want in the Western genre :)

To me, John Ford's Stagecoach, John Ford's The Searchers, Howard Hawks' Red River, Howard Hawks' Rio Bravo or Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven are probably what I consider like real westerns

At first, many film critics did not consider European westerns as real westerns, the Sergio Leone films included

In the other hand, there are some movies which take place in the Western era but do not look like a western at all
For instance, Don Siegel's The Beguiled is usually considered as a western but it is not really a western to me
Yes, it takes place in the Western era but it is more a gothic tale, it is not so far from a horror film
There is no cow boy, no saloon, no duel, no gunfight, no cow, no marshall, no prison, no main street, no horse ride

Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate takes place in the Western era but does not look like a traditional western

Clint said that the Western genre is one of the two original American art forms with Jazz music
I think that he is probably right

The Western genre is authentically American but became universal
Everybody in the world is interested in the Western genre: in Europe, in Africa, in Asia, in Middle East, in South America, in Australia
Maybe because the western genre is about men who fight against other men or men who fight against forces of nature
They fight for survive, for their rights, for a land, for a woman
It is also about the good and the evil
The Western genre is also a great vehicle for masculinity

Sometimes, the Western genre is considered as dead
Maybe that's why some of the characters that Clint plays, in his own westerns, look like vengeful ghosts

So, could Cry Macho be a neo-Western ?
The presence of Clint Eastwood can influence our judgement because Clint is associated with the Western genre
When we saw the first pictures of Clint in Cry Macho, we started to talk about his hat and how it looks like the hat that he wore in Unforgiven
So, subconsciously or consciously, we can think about his westerns
We can't help it

Anyway, thank you for starting that interesting debate, AKA23 :)
« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 10:09:48 AM by Hocine » Logged
Hocine
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« Reply #223 on: February 05, 2021, 10:00:58 AM »

     Aka23.. Really??.. What I saw was a trailer with Eastwood and a young kid holding a cockbird I would guess walking and another shot  of gun fire and a close up shot of Eastwood... Then the words of CRY MACHO... This was a short trailer for HBO Max.. Looked real to me.. I'm confused... Lol...

Yes, that unofficial trailer was probably edited and posted in YouTube by someone

The shots come from Cry Macho and Judas and The Black Messiah

Judas and The Black Messiah is released next week

Only the shots where you see Clint are actually from Cry Macho
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Perry
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« Reply #224 on: February 05, 2021, 12:15:43 PM »



    Ahhh...
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Gant
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« Reply #225 on: February 05, 2021, 02:33:50 PM »

Is Outland a space western ?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2021, 01:12:51 AM by Gant » Logged

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Hocine
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« Reply #226 on: February 05, 2021, 05:25:03 PM »

Is Outland a ?space? western ?

If you talk about Outland with Sean Connery, this is a remake of High Noon.
So, yes, it could be seen as a space western.

High Noon is a 1952 western directed by Fred Zinnemann, starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly.

Howard Hawks did not like High Noon because of the way that sheriff Will Kane, portrayed by Gary Cooper, was written: during the film, the sheriff spent his time to ask for help but nobody in his town wanted to help him to fight three men who were just released from jail. Howard Hawks probably thought that a sheriff should not act like a coward but like a courageous man. Gary Cooper won a Best Actor Oscar for that role. High Noon is probably a critic of American society of the 1950?s and its obsession and fear of communism. It was the Cold War then.

The Western genre is a good way to talk about American society of present day, probably because you can put some distance with it. For instance, The Outlaw Josey Wales takes place just after the American Civil War but could be about other wars like Vietnam War.

Howard Hawks made Rio Bravo in 1959 in reaction to High Noon.
In Rio Bravo, John Wayne portrayed a sheriff named John T. Chance, who spent his time to reject the help offered by some characters to fight his enemies. He acted like a brave man.
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Gant
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« Reply #227 on: February 06, 2021, 01:26:12 AM »

I?m very excited to see what has drawn Eastwood to this new character in Cry Macho..
I really enjoyed The Mule and Eastwoods  performance and thought it quite a departure for him...
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AKA23
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« Reply #228 on: February 06, 2021, 09:45:58 AM »

Hocine, thanks so much, that was an excellent post explaining how you interpret the neo-western concept. I think for me, if a film is not set in the historical period that Westerns usually depict (what I referred to as the "Western era"), it doesn't have the feel of a true Western to me. I wouldn't consider movies like "The Beguiled" or "Bronco Billy" to be Westerns, but I do think that the Dollars films are westerns. I am kind of struggling to understand what makes something a neo-Western. For those that know about film (where is Holden when we need him?) are there agreed upon elements that if satisfied will make something fall into that category, or is it an ill defined, mostly subjective concept that is in the eye of the beholder? What makes something a neo-Western, beyond it being transplanted to another time outside the traditionally Western historical period, and perhaps having stories centering around cowboys, or characters who dress in western attire?

For example, "The Horse Whisperer" is a film where Robert Redford is a horse trainer who falls in love with a woman. He walks around wearing a cowboy hat and there are scenes of horses and ranches and the like, but it's primarily a love story. Is that a neo-Western? Why or why not? What about "Dallas Buyers Club," which is a flim startting Matthew Mcoughaney (sp) as a rodeo star who develops AIDS and then seeks to import medication illegally to treat the condition? He walks around in cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, and the film is again set in Texas. Is that also a neo-western or not? Is it not because it's not Western themed? And, what does it mean to be Western-themed? Hocine has pointed out a struggle between good guys and bad guys, and a sense of justice being involved. I agree those are present in a lot of westerns, but a lot of movies also center around those themes that are not Westerns.

And, in what way is "Cry Macho" actually Western themed? Clint plays a horse breeder and rodeo star, and he walks around in Western attire, but the film is also descirbed as an "adventure drama." Clint Eastwood is iconically associated with the Western, but the story centers around an old man who brings a young man to be reunited with his father. In what ways is that a Neo-western? The definition and criteria are not very clear to me.
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Hocine
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« Reply #229 on: February 09, 2021, 08:43:35 AM »

You are welcome, AKA23
I understand your point of view, which is not so different from mine.
I also think that the Dollars film are westerns but less traditional than Rawhide, for example.
By the way, Rawhide is perhaps the most traditional western in which Clint Eastwood has ever appeared.
It is the TV version of Howard Hawks Red River.
I have the feeling that for many people including me, the Western has something to do with the American tradition,
the American mentality, the American roots or Americanas.
The Western era is over a long time ago but some roots remain from that era.

When those roots are in some non-western films, then some critics could qualify them as neo-Westerns.

The Horse Whisperer is not a western to me but as you said, AKA23, a love story.
The fact that Robert Redford walks around with a cowboy hat and a Western attire is not enough to make The Horse Whisperer a western.
In many ways, it is the Robert Redford version of The Bridges of Madison County.
Actually, Richard LaGravenese wrote the scripts of The Bridges of Madison County and The Horse Whisperer both.

Dallas Buyers Club is not a western to me but a social drama.

An other example: American Sniper.
To me, it is a drama, a war movie and a character study.
However, I read some critics which made some parallels between American Sniper and the Western.
For instance, in the flashback scenes, Chris Kyle s father told his sons that there were three types of men in the world: the wolves (the bad guys), the sheeps (the victims) and the sheep dogs (the good guys).
This is a very simple vision that could be from a western.
When he was a young boy, Chris Kyle went hunting with his father and learned how to use a rifle and how to shoot.
Guns and rifles are important in the Western.
Then, Chris Kyle, played by Bradley Cooper, grew up and became a rodeo star: we see him wearing a cowboy hat and boots.
When he became a Navy SEAL, he went to Iraq, which is like the new Far West.
The US army replaced the cowboys and the enemies from the Middle East were like the Apaches, according to some critics.
So, American Sniper is a good example of a movie which is not actually a western but in which we can find many references about the Western.
At the end of the film, Bradley Cooper takes a gun and jokes with his wife.
That gun looked very old and could have been from a western.
I think that Clint used it for one of his westerns, I do not know which one, maybe Hang em High but I am not sure.

Those Who Wish Me Dead, a Warner Bros film with Angelina Jolie to be released this year, is qualified as a female neo-Western.

Cry Macho, is it a neo-Western or not ?
I think that it will be a drama and probably a road movie at first.
Maybe there could be some references about Clint Eastwood films and especially westerns.

The Marksman with Liam Neeson and directed by Robert Lorenz, is also considered as a neo-Western.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 11:15:29 PM by Hocine » Logged
Hocine
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« Reply #230 on: February 09, 2021, 08:51:29 AM »

I?m very excited to see what has drawn Eastwood to this new character in Cry Macho..
I really enjoyed The Mule and Eastwoods  performance and thought it quite a departure for him...

Yes, I hope that we will have a release date and a trailer soon
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AKA23
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« Reply #231 on: February 09, 2021, 06:03:41 PM »

Another excellent post, Hocine. I had not picked up on the thematical similarities you point out between the western and "American Sniper." 

Gant, Cry Macho and one other film are the only two movies HBO  has not announced release dates for in 2021, so I too keep hoping we'll see and hear something soon. I'm also looking forward to seeing what attracted Clint to this project after thirty years. To me, every film he acts in feels like such a gift. I'd much rather see a new movie he acts in than one in which he only directs, so it's always a thrill for me to see a new Clint performance. Every time I feel like he's done, he grants us another unexpected performance!
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Gant
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« Reply #232 on: February 10, 2021, 03:08:43 AM »

Yeah, I remember your first reaction to The Mule, it made we wanna see it all the more and I wasnt disappointed.
Im really looking forward to seeing Cry Macho.... do we know if itll get any kind of theatrical release.. ?
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« Reply #233 on: February 11, 2021, 06:22:34 AM »

Another excellent post, Hocine. I had not picked up on the thematical similarities you point out between the western and "American Sniper." 

Gant, Cry Macho and one other film are the only two movies HBO  has not announced release dates for in 2021, so I too keep hoping we'll see and hear something soon. I'm also looking forward to seeing what attracted Clint to this project after thirty years. To me, every film he acts in feels like such a gift. I'd much rather see a new movie he acts in than one in which he only directs, so it's always a thrill for me to see a new Clint performance. Every time I feel like he's done, he grants us another unexpected performance!

Thank you, AKA23
The other movie HBO has not announced a release date for in 2021, must be Reminiscence with Hugh Jackman.
It is also a thrill for me to see a new Clint performance.

By the way, do you consider Clint as an actor or a director first ?
I asked myself that question so many times but I did not find a definitive answer.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2021, 06:24:44 AM by Hocine » Logged
AKA23
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« Reply #234 on: February 11, 2021, 10:43:11 AM »

As a fan, I most appreciate Eastwood as an actor. With the exception of Eastwood's films, I really don't pay attention to the directorial styles of filmmakers. I'll notice the quality of the acting, the script, and the musical score, but as a viewer, I don't scrutinize or deeply analyze the technical aspects of filmmaking. With Eastwood, I am much more knowledgeable about how he directs and recurring themes in his work and how he treats music, the cinematography, the pacing of the story, etc. I do appreciate those aspects of his work, but I still get the most joy out of watching him act.

If you are talking about his place in film history, I think there's no question that he's more respected as a director. I think the average filmgoer would probably, like me, consider him to be an actor first, but I think most people in the filmmaking community would likely consider him as a director first.

Your question made me remember a thread I started years ago where we had a thought-provoking discussion here on the board about whether people thought he was a better actor or director that you might enjoy reviewing. Here's the link: http://www.clinteastwood.org/forums/index.php?topic=9252.msg204612#msg204612
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Hocine
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« Reply #235 on: February 13, 2021, 01:10:11 PM »

Thank you for your answer and for the link of that thread, AKA23
Indeed, that was a pretty good discussion

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and For A Few Dollars More are probably the first two Clint Eastwood films that I have seen in my life. I was 8 years old then. So, I was familiar with Clint Eastwood as an actor at first.
Moreover, the fact that Clint starred in most of the films that he directed until Mystic River or even Flags of Our Fathers, did not make a big difference to me then: the actor was almost everywhere.
I think that when I was 10 or 11 years old, I was conscious about the fact that Clint was also a director.
However, I do not think that I exactly knew the definition of directing.
In The Line Of Fire is the first Clint Eastwood film that I have seen in a movie theater.
I was 11 years old.
The Bridges of Madison County is the first film directed by Clint that I have seen in movie theater.
I was 13 years old.

Today, I admire Clint Eastwood films as an actor and as a director.

I think that in the sixties and the seventies, most of Clint Eastwood best acting performances were under the direction of other directors (Sergio Leone, Don Siegel, Brian G.Hutton, Michael Cimino, Ted Post).
From the eighties to present day, Clint Eastwood best acting performances were under his own direction.

I find that the evolution of Clint Eastwood career is one of the most fascinating in film history.

At first, he was considered as an actor with a limited range but with physical skills which were exploited in westerns and action films.
For example, Luciano Vincenzoni, the screenwriter of For A Few Dollars More, said that Clint was not a great actor but was physically perfect for the role of the man with no name, which made him a star. He also added that Clint was really a fast draw. He had never seen an other actor draw his gun like Clint, although he worked in many other films with many other actors.
Luciano Vincenzoni considered Clint as a great director and as a star.

When Clint became a director, the film critics and the profession became more interested in his work.
The audience made Clint a movie star.
Clint Eastwood work as a director made him a respected man of cinema.

Clint was more awarded for his work as a director than for his work as an actor.

I think that Clint is a man who knows his limitations as an actor. He knows what it works for him and what it does not work.
Since he became a respected director, Clint seems not to want to be directed by an other director with some rare exceptions.

I still think that actor Clint Eastwood is the most powerful element of movies directed by Clint.
That is why it is not so easy to separate the actor and the director.

The best Clint Eastwood performances under the direction of other directors are:
A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Hang em High, Coogan s Bluff, Two Mules For Sister Sara, Kelly s Heroes, The Beguiled, Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Escape From Alcatraz, In The Line Of Fire

The best Clint Eastwood performances under his own direction are:
Play Misty For Me, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Gauntlet, Bronco Billy, Honkytonk Man, Sudden Impact, Tightrope, Pale Rider, Heartbreak Ridge, White Hunter Black Heart, Unforgiven, A Perfect World, The Bridges of Madison County, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, The Mule
I hope that I will able to put Cry Macho on that list

The best films directed by Clint and in which he did not star are:
Breezy, Bird, Mystic River, Flags Of Our Fathers, Letters From Iwo Jima, Changeling, Invictus, J.Edgar, American Sniper, Sully, Richard Jewell





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honkytonkman
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« Reply #236 on: February 14, 2021, 02:53:30 PM »

Hocine, you don't mention "Midnight in the garden of good and evil" . I love that film, must have seen 4 or 5 times.
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« Reply #237 on: February 14, 2021, 09:01:45 PM »

Hocine, you don't mention "Midnight in the garden of good and evil" . I love that film, must have seen 4 or 5 times.


I also think that one tends to be underrated. Among other things, it makes great use of the songs of Johnny Mercer.
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Hocine
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« Reply #238 on: February 15, 2021, 10:48:46 AM »

You are absolutely right, Honkytonkman and KC

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is probably underrated.
I have to admit that I missed it when it was released in France in March 1998.
I remember that Clint Eastwood received a Cesar Award (the French Oscars) for his career as a director in February 1998. Director Jean-Luc Godard presented it to him.
Clint Eastwood read a speech in French: it was funny.
I have seen Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil some years later on VHS.
However, I have seen it many times on big screen, during some Clint Eastwood retrospectives during the last 12 years.
Clint seemed to enjoy the shooting of that film: we can see some footage of that shooting in Richard Schickel documentary ? Eastwood on Eastwood ?, which was narrated by John Cusack.
It was something that he had rarely did before: an atmosphere picture, almost experimental for him.
It is a movie about a strange place, Savannah, Georgia, and its people.
It is also about tolerance.
That movie seemed far from Clint universe, if compared to Absolute Power, True Crime, Space Cowboys or Blood Work.
French magazine Positif supported Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
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« Reply #239 on: February 15, 2021, 04:35:13 PM »

I think it's very much about Clint striking out in a new and unexpected direction, something he's done throughout his career. By contrast, the four others you mention that were made around then (Absolute Power, True Crime, Space Cowboys and Blood Work) are more closely tied to the popular genres he's associated with ... though Space Cowboys, which isn't really Western-related despite the title, was also a departure in its way.
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