RETRO CLINT EASTWOOD – an annotated Filmography, the 1990s

We continue our retro Clint Eastwood with the 90’s and important films in the programme, whose Ruthless and On The Road To Madison

Major turning point in the career of Clint Eastwood, the 90s mark the almost end of his career as an actor “to the other ” with Line of Sight (film Columbia and not Warner) Wolfgang Petersen , in 1993, a public success and critical. Resolutely turned towards realization, Clint remains active in front of his camera. Always prompt to toggle its projects, it connects the films surprising (White Hunter Black Heart, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), classic (The Full Powers, Found Guilty) and exits at one time three major works of his filmography in which Ruthless, his farewell to the western, for which he received four Oscars including those for best film and best director.

With a nomination as best actor (that only Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, Woody Allen and Kenneth Branagh were successful) , Clint Eastwood is at the peak of his art On The Road to Madison and to a lesser extent A Perfect World, end up to assure an international aura indelible (the latter film being classified were the top movies of the year for Cahiers du Cinema after Ruthless the previous year). Clint Eastwood no longer feels constrained by the success or failure of his films. It intertwines more and more of the artistic ambitions (while remaining classic in form) to be a profound speech, a vision of more increasingly dark existence. Almost seventy years ago, some saw in his films a form of twilight and quasi-testamentary of a work that he was going to dig more later.


1990 – WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART

Original title : White Hunter Black Heart

With : Clint Eastwood, Marisa Berenson, Jeff Fahey

Genre : Drama

Duration : 1h54

 

 

Even beyond the theme and the style of the “classic ” of John Huston, the admiration of Clint Eastwood for his elder has always been key to its own cinema. Still, WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART took everyone by surprise. Sixty years and for his fourteenth feature film, Eastwood embarked on the adventure both amazing and risky of a film a tad bit autobiographical disguised as a biopic about the escapades of John (Huston) Wilson before the shooting of the legendary film The African Trader (African Queen) that, for memory was playing, Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn between Tanzania and Kenya. Based on the eponymous book by Peter Viertel (screenwriter of the original film), the director composes the portrait of an artist who prefers the life in the show, obsessed with the idea of killing an elephant, a paradoxical man (him) more close to his gun as his tool of work. If the focus ofEastwood will make you smile, the film digs deep the image of the filmmaker and the actor. The look he has on John Huston disappeared three years earlier is processed in the form of a self-portrait in disguise and without concession. The outcome, tragic, hunting aborted even ring as a symbol of madness, a willingness demiurgic creation, while unveiling a little more in his twilight of morality. Presented at Cannes, this film is atypical in the work ofEastwood will walk away empty-handed but will allow the filmmaker to illuminate her path.

1991 – THE FUTURE

Original title : The Rookie

With : Clint Eastwood, Charlie Sheen, Raul Julia

Genre : Detective

Duration : 2h

 

 

At the beginning of the nineties, Clint Eastwood is no longer really a recipe. This is the actor (The Last Target, Pink Cadillac) or the producer (Bird, White Hunter Black Heart), the audience turns more readily to the young pups of the era such as Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis. Following the codes of the buddy movie policeman, THE SUCCESSION to its eye obviously on the side of theWeapon and in company with the duo improbable between a young hothead (Charlie Sheen) and an old stainless (Clint Eastwood), all in the face of a bad guy caricature played with relish by Raul Julia. Brawls, stunts, massive destruction and masochism of circumstance (the character of Clint is literally raping) turned up without knowing if we are in a first degree assumed, or in a fantasy ironic. If many saw it as a film is laborious, the image of an end peinturlurée self-righteousness outrageous, the last scene presents us, as an insult to his own legend, Clint Eastwood became the “leader ” which gives us a clear look at all this as a farce.

1992 – RUTHLESS

Original title : Unforgiven

With : Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman

Genre : Western

Duration : 2h11

 

 

Clint Eastwood will have waited over 10 years to turn the western twilight, the time sufficient to achieve the age of the role, the role of William Munny a former killer and is safe without scruple, put away the horses that it was difficult to ride), became a farmer, a widower and father of two toddlers. Recruited to avenge the assault of a prostitute balafrée by a soulard, he starts again to sow the seed of “justice ” with a novice bigleux (Jaimz Woolvet) and his former accomplice (Morgan Freeman) in a town held by a shériff sociopath (Gene Hackman). With RUTHLESS, the filmmaker recreates the myth of the Western (with a ” W ” capitalized), the better to bury it. Reflection on violence and how it may pose problems to the City, Eastwood, at the peak of his art, teases the corpse of a genre to become moribund. It brings into play all his legend to become a movie, this angel of death capable of philosophizing (” I’ve always been lucky when it comes to killing people “) by eliminating, de facto, any notion of heroism. Each element is in place, the saloon, the brothel, the deputies cowards to the writer of a revisionist who prefer the legend of this doomed truth, in a nod to TheMan who shot Liberty Valance in John Ford. This violence, filmed outside of all aesthetic free, spread like a wildfire, an evil inevitable : a run in the latrine, a long agony in the rockies, beatings, a scene of torture, a precursor of the Ku Klux Klana RUTHLESS, stalking relentless in his theme and offers large spaces filled with collective memory. The wheat fields, the canyons, the snow, the storm, the mud and the rain for the balance of any account. Blood and a few tears. The observation is wry, but never nihilistic. Without appeal. Final.

RUTHLESS will collect four academy awards in 1992 : best film, direction, supporting actor (Gene Hakman) and mounting. It will be subsequently classified in the “carré d’as” of the genre by the American Film Institute, alongside The searchers, The Train high noon and the Man of the Valleys Lost. In short, a masterpiece absolute.

1993 – A PERFECT WORLD

Original title : A Perfect World

With : Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Laura Dern

Genre : Detective

Duration : 2: 17

 

 

Route meandering that this (great) movie initially proposed to Steven Spielberg before falling in the hands of Clint Eastwood. If the filmmaker first thinks of Denzel Washington, it is ultimately Kevin Costner, still fresh basking in the success of Dances with Wolves (7 oscars) that is chosen to interpret Butch, a prison escapee, who will try the keel to the sides of his young hostage Philip (T. J. Lowther). Road movie initiatique, polar, intimate drama, A PERFECT WORLD is during Halloween, in the vicinity of Dallas, just before the visit fatal to John F. Kennedy, as a symbol of a national identity, ready to fly into pieces. Turning on the power supply (egos make sparks), Kevin Costner finds here his best role, at once endearing, violent, unpredictable. The lost child is perhaps not one that we believe. Throughout the film, Clint Eastwood takes his time, dwells on the relationship between the fugitive and the child who learns another life, at his side. He switches the light sequences with the passages in the most tragic and intimate knowledge of the poetry breakaway group of the “Dormeur du Val ” by Rimbaud. Of this desperate point hope with the transmission of an inheritance, freedom, always at the heart of the device eastwoodien. In this fitted wild, Philip did nothing of the gifted annoying, kid usual. Musty, it plays, looks, gestures and silences in order to better preserve the outside world. The cop Red Garnett gives Clint Eastwood a role to play in the shade of the Store uncertain of his choice in the face of a world that is more complex than the simple boundary between good and evil. This same simplistic view that America was preparing to abandon them in pain. Like America, He must bear the consequences of its actions, its decisions. Even if they are tragic. When the story meets the high this gives a film of raw power, emotion total. The scene, inappropriate, with the farmer is the most touching, the most troubling, between love and madness, compassion, and punishment. Film intense, immense, double-complementary, and as high placed as the previous Ruthless with which it forms a diptych atypical, but shunned by the american public, A PERFECT WORLD will be unfairly regarded as a commercial failure despite its very good international career. Beautiful.

1995 – THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY

Original title : The Bridges of Madison County

With : Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Annie Corley

Genre : Drama

Duration : 2h15

 

 

The novel would kill a diabetic without firing a shot, and the adaptation by Richard LaGravenese (The Man who Murmured to the Ear of a Horse) promised to Steven Spielberg is not more convincing. Yet it is here that starts the adventure ON THE ROAD TO MADISON. As for A Perfect World, the case is abandoned by the father of E. T. for the benefit of Clint Eastwood (after the refusal of Sydney Pollack), who sees here the opportunity to rub in the melodrama, a genre that he has not revisited since the romance of Breezy (1973). The two men send their corrections by fax and Eastwood proposes to tell the story through the reading of the diary of the heroine, Francesca. To interpret this last, the director immediately thinks of Meryl Streep among a prestigious list where you can find Isabella Rossellini, Anjelica Huston, Jessica Lange, Mary McDonnell, Cher , and Susan Sarandon. Of the beautiful world. Potch typical, ON THE ROAD FROM MADISON we are located in 1965, in a corner lost to Iowa, to meet the photographer Richard Kinkaid (Clint), a globetrotter unrepentant person who wears beautiful, and a wife of a farmer who expects nothing other than the return of his family, a part a few days for an agricultural fair. By filming the gestures, the glances, the rustling, the simple words with sincerity and a sense of shame extreme, Clint Eastwood allows two icons of american cinema to cross on the way of chance with a sensuality confusing, an art of contemplative assumed. The light, the wind, the sand and the greenery. A jazz club. The hand on the handle of a stopped car. A fire red. The rain. The destinies that intersect, separate. The time compresses the eternity on some days. Dizziness of love, regrets them, are eternal. Magic.

1996 – THE FULL POWERS

Original title : Absolute Power

With : Clint Eastwood, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris

Genre : Detective

Duration : 2h01

 

 

Luther Whitey is an ace of the cambriole without any loss or noise. Then he steals the contents of a chest of jewellery in a luxurious residence, he must hide behind a two-way mirror to watch the little game sado-maso couple is a little drunk. The scene degenerates completely with the irruption of the body guard who shot the young woman, leaving to discover the identity of the man, who is none other than the president of the United States. On this basis, preposterous, Clint Eastwood is having fun as a youngster behind the camera… and in front of it. By showing us the thief watch the scene, it is placed in the same position of voyeur as the viewer. And he does not intervene. Hitchcock is not very far, but the virtuosity ofEastwood joined around the main character, an architect of the crime in the rules of art. Always comfortable on the field of action, Clint Eastwood also designs supporting roles convincing portrayed by a cast of four stars dominated by Laura Linney, Judy Davis, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris and Gene Hackman. If the film alternates some subtleties (the daughter-father relationship or the romance between the police officer and it), her gaze still wary about the power and a certain taste for the acts questionable (the syringe into the neck of one of the protagonists in the guise of self-righteousness), which allow the FULL power to navigate in the grey area where everyone is at one time or another. Making change the original ending by the writer veteran William Goldman (The President’s Men, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Clint Eastwood can play with a greed that culminates in the face-to-face encounter between Luther and the detective Seth Frank, a memorable game of cat and mouse.

1997 – MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL

Original title : Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

With : James Gandolfini, John Cusack, Kevin Spacey

Genre : Drama

Duration : 2h35

 

 

Polar out of time and out of modes, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, is an adaptation of a novel signed John Berendt on actual events that occurred in 1980 in Savannah, Georgia. Distorting a little the reality, the film situates the action in December and not in may. The art collector Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey) gives a receipt for the Christmas eve in the presence of the journalist John Kelso (John Cusack impeccable by substituting the luxury ofEward Norton , who declined the role) and a few guests sorted on the shutter. During this evening, Williams will kill his lover Billy (Jude Law) before you plead self-defence. Between the living and the dead, at the edge of good and evil, in a southern folk where still floats the remains of the Civil war on the supernatural beliefs, the film seems to be driven by his own fascination. On a slow pace (2h35) and hypnotic, Clint Eastwood we ride to places picaresque characters quaint (the man who walks his dog invisible, Lady Chablis years of his own role), and quirky and gives us a few scenes shifted to the Jacques Tati. Lulled by the ghost of Johnny Mercer, this fantastic story that had fascinated America doesn’t appeal to the general public, it will come out of this film meditative a leitmotif, as a profession of faith : “To understand the living, you must commune with the dead “. An admission of Clint Eastwood, on a part of his past (Pale Rider, The Man of the High Plains, Bird, White Hunter Black Heart), and on its future production, which would dig more deeply this vein of death.

1999 – FOUND GUILTY

Original title : True Crime

With : Clint Eastwood, Diane Venora, Bernard Hill

Genre : Detective

Duration : 2h06

 

 

After the failure (logical enough) of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Clint Eastwood continued his career with a project more public, but not devoid of imagination and depth. JUDGED GUILTY of laying the foundations of his plot on the next run of a man unjustly condemned. Far from espousing the theses pro-death penalty, without openly condemn it (it still leaves the care up to the viewer to position themselves), the movie allows Eastwood to compose a character rather unsympathetic father of the family conspicuously absent, philandering husband unrepentant and downright focused on the drink. Curiously, the film removes all the action of the main plot, except for a visit to the zoo, which is entered into by an accident of stroller fantastic that ejects shamelessly the little girl from heroes… performed by Francesca Eastwood, daughter of Clint Eastwood. In passing, he does not hesitate to castigate the religion (which will return later in Mystic River or Gran Torino), the press, hungry for sensation, to place a few scenes of pure comedy with the managing editor (James Woods ) or the editor-in-chief cocufié (Dennis Leary, hilarious) and play codes suspense against the clock with a skill without fault. Surprisingly, the main story is of less interest to the director is that which revolves around. In fact, the film is not so much a plea against the death penalty (we are far from The Last step of Tim Robbins) that the investigation of a man in search of redemption late, FOUND GUILTY has enough arguments to provide a film atypical that slaloms expertly on the common places of the genre. Invested, Clint Eastwood will sign even the final song, performed by Diana Krall this is not enough to save the movie from failure biting at the box office.

Cyril DELANLSSAYS

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