The re-release in 4K of the masterpiece ” twilight of Clint Eastwood is a unique and tasty look back on this farewell final of a master hollywood genre that has dedicated to it.
Flash-Back. Spotted in the series Maverick and Rawhide (1959-1965), Clint Eastwood had in spite of everything go through the anonymous european and the role of “the man with no name ” to get one. The trilogy of Sergio Leone will do the rest : For a Fistful of Dollars (1964), And for a few Dollars more (1965) and the Good, the bad and the Ugly (1966) established his growing reputation, and associates it to the Italian director, to the point that he will refuse There was a time in the West (1968) in order to avoid any amalgam. This will allow him to meet his second mentor, Don Siegel , with whom he appeared at one time A Sheriff in New York (1968), Sierra Torrid (1970), The Prey (1970) and inspector Harry (1971). If he digs the furrow of the western, it also put in place their archetype of urban. Definitely launched, Clint Eastwood , may therefore gratify its desires of the filmmaker and, for this, made the choice to deepen her character a little prone to chatter.
Of The Man of the High Plains (1973) Josey Wales Outside the Law (1976) from Pale Rider (1985), his vision of the Western (to which we can add Bronco Billy in 1980), remains uncompromising, uncluttered, minimalist. He confronts the icon created with Sergio Leone in a dry vision arises where a certain form of humanism, a reflection on the very foundations of America, at once realistic and ambiguous. And then Clint Eastwood move on to something else. Her status as the author had gained prominence with Honkytonk Man (1982) and Bird (1987), but it is in a real period of uncertainty and artistic after the failure of The Succession (1991) he does, finally, what he already considers as his love letter to the western, his requiem. Eastwood will discuss even the possibility that this is his last film. One that no-one was waiting more from her. His last will and testament.
For this, the filmmaker will be expected to have the age of the main role. But it should be noted that the history of the script of’RUTHLESS is itself symptomatic of the masterpieces of patience. Written in 1976 by David Webb Peoples (co-author of adaptations of Blade Runner and the Army of The 12 Monkeys), The William Munny Killings (original title) will be acquired in 1984 by Francis Ford Coppola before Clint Eastwood redeem the rights the following year. The clock is ticking, and over the years, this story will become a real arlésienne, of which you wonder if it will eventually materialize. In the 1990s, it was Kevin Costner, just the aura of the oscars for best film and best director for Dances with Wolves (a western !) that evokes in the interview with this script great that he would love to stage and from whom he expects the adaptation with impatience. Yet, there is nothing exceptional in the foundations of a story that is based on an argument of ultra-classic : the prostitutes hire a handful of hired guns to avenge one of their own, disfigured by two cowboys. The Kid Schofield (Jaimz Woolvet), young and impetuous, ramenard and bigleux, then tries to convince William Munny (Clint Eastwood), a former act outside the law without mercy, to join the expedition. A widower, he became a farmer by love, and has not touched neither alcohol nor firearms for years. Covered in debts, he accepts, despite everything, to accompany the Kid, and enlisted the services of Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman, flawless), his long-time friend.
The sobriety of the staging added to the atmospheres both dark and bright region of Alberta (Canada) provides an image that plays perfectly to the atmospheres. Under the guise of a road movie in the form of a stand, very fordien in its treatment and its relationship to nature (The Riders, The Prisoner of the Desert), the moral influence of John Huston and William Wellman (The Ox-Bow Incident, one of his films to the bedside of Clint) is still fundamental, even in masochism, assumed of the characters. It should be noted Clint Eastwood and the film legend that accompanies every gesture, fall from horse, pull as a handle, make a fool of himself to want to recover some of its superb, rebuild. Dark coat, stubble, bad air, the silhouette is given here as a ghostly appearance, a surname. The archangel of death to reincarnate, then under our eyes. It can get back to the grind and the route it will take has nothing to paradise.
Teasing the corpse is still warm, of a kind buried a bit too quickly, Clint Eastwood took the opportunity to revisit the codes, redo its product ranges. But to the west, nothing new. Nothing flashy either. A hole lost with the evocative name (Big Whiskey), a good old saloon, the inevitable mess, the murky and the sheriff who tries to deal with violence by violence. The one who takes the sword, shall perish by the sword, says the Bible. Apocalypse announced. In the role of Little Bill Dagget, Gene Hackman is wonderful. While he had initially refused the role for its violence, in fact, he deploys here of the treasures of the subtleties in these paradoxes incarnate, to give us a character vicious, perverse, bad but persuaded to do good, and who shall his place, lucky to have survived the carnage and regulations of the accounts of the bandits legendary. The Wild West with the glowing of Shane (George Stevens, 1953) is definitely well far. Here, nothing is luxury, calm and voluptuousness. The dust, the mud and the blood are the daily. And revenge sold for about cash. Whether Ned in boyfriend became a pacifist, William Munny, or the carnage end, at once pathetic and symbolic of heroism ” is bandied about, all of the archetypes are diverted. Even the performances are wretched, écœurantes, almost grotesque.
“RELENTLESS is a magnificent film, and twilight, the farewell of Clint Eastwood in Western. “
Eastwood takes the opportunity to déglinguer a part of his reputation, fought on misunderstandings : misogyny, racism, fascism latent… William Munny drags his own legend, he who no longer wants to be a normal man, sober, faithful, good family man, morally cleansed from her sins. The circle of narrative is classical and once again, we can not turn back neither to his nature nor to his past. The killer of women, children, and everything that ” moves or crawls on this Earth , “without faith nor law, only interested in money and alcohol, will be reset to its old reflexes (” I’ve always been lucky when it comes to killing people “), will contaminate the Kid of this violence seminal, before to philosophize on the act of killing. And this violence, filmed outside of all aesthetic free, spread as an evil inevitable. A run-in latrines, this long agony in the rockies, beatings, a scene of torture, a precursor of the Ku Klux Klan…
The past of William Munny becomes the symbol of a nation built on violence and greed. The only two witnesses “foreigners “are represented here by English Bob (Richard Harris), killer English beaten by the representative of the law, and W. W. Beauchamp (Saul Rubinek), the journalist who did not hesitate to rewrite a story disguised to entertain the gallery… back hair of The Man who shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962) and his famous” between the truth and the legend, print the legend.” =RUTHLESS reference and the echoes of classics of the genre, and strove to look at them otherwise. It will require that the hero meets himself the world of the dead and back transformed to regain his coldness, his costume of the destroyer. As if he had abandoned on the road this weakness, this supplement of soul useless as the love of a woman he had passed on.
Twilight, a RUTHLESS, stalking relentlessly to the myth. Is beautiful in these great open spaces steeped in collective memory. The fields, the canyons, the snow, the rain through which Clint Eastwood observes the damage. The result is disillusioned and without appeal. The violence in gangrene the world ? But this world has it not been built on this axiom ? “I didn’t deserve it ” murmurera Little Bill Dagget. Maybe not, but this way of return the barbarians to their own acts, does not offer any outcome. The sheriff shows systematically this paradox and inextricable, in his way of telling the story, to think of the justice or build a house. Everything is wobbly. Ready to collapse.
And when William Munny is moving away from a city put to blood and fire on a background of whispers and star-spangled banner drowned out by the wind, we say that it is Clint Eastwood, director/actor who abandons the Western for good. What could he say more ? Has timer, it will not be surprising to find the same pattern narrative with Gran Torino (2007).
Of a rare elegance and an intelligence-mad, RUTHLESS will collect four academy awards (film, direction, supporting actor and editing) and will definitely Eastwood in his country. Finally. Because a man who was considered for a long time as a writer in Europe, and in France in particular, kept in him the image of the actor mutique, hair, reaction, settling its accounts with methods for the least expeditious. By twisting once again a legend of her own, RUTHLESS, will do much more than meet his public (it would then become his greatest success) and the unanimity of the critics. The final panel was not mistaken. Doing away with Munny/Eastwood such a ghost, the film gave us an appointment elsewhere, the time of a last tribute generic of Sergio Leone and Donald Siegel on a musical theme written, as often, by the director himself. We can therefore blame the translation is too simplistic the original title, UNFORGIVEN (impardonné), which bears in itself the germ of original sin and the impossibility of redemption. As an ultimate tragedy is ironically contradicted by the last box allowing Clint Eastwood to play once again of the ambiguity. The End.
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Classified since in the four aces of Western by the American Film Institute (with The Prisoner of the Desert, The Train high noon Three Times, and The Man of the Valleys Lost), RUTHLESS will be the source of a remake japanese, Yurusarezaru Mono (2013) with Ken Watanabe, the lead actor from Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) directed by Clint Eastwood. The loop is closed. But this is another story…
• Achievement : Clint Eastwood
• Screenplay : David Webb Peoples
• Main actors : Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
• Release Date : June 21, 2017
• Duration : 2h11min