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Author Topic: What if any other director------ [directed Flags or Letters]  (Read 3144 times)
iconfan
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« on: December 23, 2006, 10:07:48 AM »

The classic film Its a Wonderful Life is on and I had a thought I'd like to open up here for speculation....spinning off a bit on the scene where Clarence the Angel makes it possible for George Bailey to see what would have happened if he had never been born.......

As the story goes, Eastwood was in the middle of researching Flags of Our Fathers when he became very interested in the story of the Japanese General Kuribayshi and his incredible stradegy on the island of tunneling underground (almost 18 MILES of tunnels including multiple storied bunkers were made in preperation for the attack) as a form of defense against the incoming American troups.

FROM that research...Eastwood commisioned a screenplay and filmed it after editing Flags
in a few short weeks.
Much smaller budget.
Much shorter production time.
Arguably a Very bold move on Eastwood's part.

And now...Letters is receiving countless praise and a warm reception from not only critics but also the average moviegoer both here AND in Japan where, surprisingly, many of them had never heard of the war.

Now just think upon the few ironies that have unfolded so far......

What if Spielberg HAD been able to get a handle on his adaptaion of the popular book Flags of our Fathers....
Would he have done the same research Eastwood had done? Let alone thought to produce a companion film about the general?

What if any OTHER director would have optioned the book?
Would another director had included the General a bit more within the context of (their vision) a FLAGS film?

Would the General's story had been told at all?
Or would he and his efforts (and the sacrificed troups)remained a vauge footnote on a dozen pages of history books?

Now as we know- Flags has, unfortunately, for whatever reason, been met with little enthusiasm from filmgoers and has floundered at the boxoffice, (barely bringing in 40 million) while LETTERS...which was a direct result of Eastwood's keen intrest in the General's tactics, seems to be growing in popularity with both critics and filmgoers....

I just thought it was interesting and wanted to post it here. It will be very interesting to see what happens as the film opens wider into next month and also to see what reception it gets at the Oscars while in direct competition with it's companion film, FLAGS.

Because perhaps WITHOUT Eastwood having made that first film...LETTERS might not have been created at all and it may very well turn out ironically that with proper nurturing from the marketing department AND a growing support from filmgoers the world over that LETTERS could become not only one of Eastwood's most impressive projects in his career- but it could become one of the benchmark anti-war films of all time.

Perhaps.....perhaps not......

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 11:03:58 AM by Brendan » Logged
bwaynef
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 10:46:55 AM »

Your post brings to mind what Eastwood told Charlie Rose about the importance of fate in one's life and career.

Without Flags, there would have been no Letters. Flags is, as you say, floundering, while Letters, made on a much smaller budget, will likely be a hit thanks to the rapturous praise it is receiving. Clint just may have made his most impressive film to date, and it came about almost accidentally. I know when I heard about these two films, I took it for granted that Flags would be the bigger of the two in all respects, and Letters would be a less ambitious companion piece.

It appears the opposite has happened. You just never know.
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Brendan
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 11:03:36 AM »

I moved this here as this forum seems more appropriate. Nice thoughts iconfan! Thank you!  8)
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detox105
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 02:28:14 PM »

it has always appeared to me that Clint eastwood directs as a fan of the story or fact not as a filmmaker.his films while wonderfully directed are all easy to watch and follow and have more detail and risk involved because he appears to want the whole story told rather than worry about the technical aspects of film making or what the studio thinks or any of the things other directors worry about.when you create a project with that frame of mind anything is achievable and I'm not at all surprised that letters is being so well received,i also think that flags would have been better received at a different time as war films don't tend to do well during wartime.to get to the point i don't think any other director could do any of the films Clint creates let alone two stand alone films that tell two sides of the same story because they all think like directors not as fans of the fact.
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Perry
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2006, 02:31:43 PM »

Personally, i don't think Letters will be a hit, not because it is not a great movie. I just don't see an audience for it. If people didnt go see Flags, why will  people see Letters and with subtitles?. I will go see it myself, but I don't see todays movie audiences that in tuned. I hope I'm wrong, but the audience is more in tuned with stupid crap like 'Black Christmas'.
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archangel
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2006, 06:48:14 PM »

Personally, i don't think Letters will be a hit, not because it is not a great movie. I just don't see an audience for it. If people didnt go see Flags, why will  people see Letters and with subtitles?. I will go see it myself, but I don't see todays movie audiences that in tuned. I hope I'm wrong, but the audience is more in tuned with stupid crap like 'Black Christmas'.

i share your opinion re Letters.
unlike most people here, i don't think Mr Eastwood is a very good director at all.
don't get me wrong, i'm a huge fan.
i also think he should leave the score writing to a pro.

i just reviewed Unforgiven and found it to be extremely mediocre. i dislike this movie - it's an insult to my intelligence.
Mr Eastwood is mega rich, and can do just about anything he wants, but it doesn't mean everything he touches turns to gold.
the only movies worth a damn are those he did with Leone.
compared to this master, eastwood will always be a student.
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Perry
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2006, 05:38:03 PM »


     Whaooooooooaa! Arch!!
Thats some pretty harsh remarks. I personally don't think Unforgiven is a classic or a masterpiece either, but to say Eastwood is a mediocre director and a 'student' is a bit too much. I don't think everything Eastwood has done is 'gold' either, but I do think he certainly is the biggest icon in the history of Cinema if you consider what he has done as a actor/director. producer..etc.. Nobody has achieved this status or longevity in a diversified mode and that includes John Wayne, Hitchcock, or anyone else. As far as Leone, yeah I certainly agree his style was tremendous. It's interesting you mention Leone because I finally have the 4 hour version of ' Once Upon A Time In America' and while It's a classic, there are lapses and Leone also did a ton of crap too with James Coburn and others, so no one is immune here. For you to say you are a " Huge Fan" is beyond bizarre considering you consider the Leone films he did  worth anything worthy.
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archangel
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2006, 06:48:44 AM »

points taken, but i still stand by my original statements.

btw, i've watched and enjoyed Mr Eastwood since '59 in Rawhide.

and I am a huge fan, just not a blinkered one, that's all.
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Perry
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2006, 06:17:44 PM »



I hear ya...I think I know what you mean.
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