Wednesday 29 April 2015

Clint Eastwood v Michael Moore – The Battle continues

Clint Eastwood jokes 'it isn't a bad idea' to kill Michael Moore after gun criticism as he collects prize... but denies making 2005 death threat.

Clint Eastwood denied Michael Moore's claim that he threatened to kill him in 2005 as he was honoured at an event as part of CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
'Everyone is saying I threatened to kill Michael Moore – that's not true. But it isn't a bad idea,' he joked as the crowd burst out laughing, according to Deadline.
On a more serious note, the legendary director explained his version of the story behind the incident a decade ago, which Moore recently wrote about while criticising Eastwood's movie American Sniper.
'Once years ago somebody asked me what I would do if a guy like [Moore] came to my house and started filming like they did with Charlton Heston,' he said of Moore's movie Bowling For Columbine, adding that he has never met Moore.
'Unfortunately, Charlton Heston was ill at the time with Alzheimer's. But I thought if somebody was on your property, you could shoot him.'
Eastwood also brushed off Moore's criticism of his latest movie, after his fellow filmmaker called snipers 'cowards', adding that American Sniper is a 'mess of a film that rewrites history' and perpetrates a 'racist sentiment to Arabs'.
'I'm all for [anyone expressing] what their attitudes are. That’s what is great about this country. You can say whatever you want and nobody has to agree with you,' the 84-year-old said.
Moore wrote a long Facebook post in January in which he stated Eastwood threatened to kill him a decade earlier.
'Ten years ago this past week, Clint Eastwood stood in front of the National Board of Review awards dinner and announced to me and to the crowd that he would "kill" me if I ever came to his house with my camera for an interview.
'"I'll kill you," he declared. The crowd laughed nervously.'
Moore went on: 'As for me, having just experienced a half-dozen assaults in the previous year from crazies upset at 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and my anti-war Oscar speech, plus the attempt by a right wing extremist to blow up my house (he was caught in time and went to prison), I was a bit stunned to hear Eastwood, out of the blue, make such a violent statement.
'But I instantly decided he was just trying to be funny, so I laughed the same nervous laugh everyone else did. Clint, though, didn't seem to like all that laughter. "I mean it," he barked, and the audience grew more quiet. "I'll shoot you."'
Moore added that the audience turned to see his reaction and there was 'a smattering of approving applause'.
He recalled: 'tried to keep that fake smile on my face so as to appear as if he hadn't "gotten" to me. But he had. I then mumbled to those sitting at my table. "I think Dirty Harry just said, 'Make my day, punk.'"
Moore concluded by writing that what was 'bothersome' about Eastwood's remarks was that he was backing up earlier comments made by TV show host Glenn Beck who has said he was thinking of 'killing Michael Moore'. Similar comments were also made by Fox News's Bill O'Reilly.
He wrote: 'This past week or so of hysterical attacks on me only proves that the American lovers of violence and the issuers of fatwas in OUR society haven't gone away. They are our American Isis - "Criticize or mock those whom we deify, like our sainted sniper, and we will harm you most assuredly.'''
Sarah Palin was among several high-profile people to defend the film and hit out at Moore for his 'disrespect' of U.S. troops.

Eastwood was presented with the Fan Choice award for Favourite Film Of 2014 for American Sniper at CinemaCon on Wednesday, at a special luncheon hosted by Warner Bros. to honour his work, called A Salute to Clint Eastwood.

Many thanks to Kevin Wilkinson

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Eddie Aiona, Prop Master for Clint Eastwood, Dies at 83

Sadly this one slipped under the Radar a couple of weeks ago, but anyone who worked under the Malpaso banner for 22 years is certainly deserved of respect and recognition.

Eddie Aiona, a property master on more than 20 Clint Eastwood films — from Magnum Force to The Bridges of Madison County — during a stretch of more than two decades, has died. He was 83. Aiona, who worked on three Oscar winners for best picture, died March 31 of lung cancer at Providence Tarzana Medical Center, his friend Ric Gentry told The Hollywood Reporter.
Aiona was among the cadre of behind-the-scenes players whom Eastwood employed on picture after picture for years. To many, he was the prototypical creative member of Eastwood's streamlined, fast-moving, hyper-efficient, tight-knit Malpaso Productions team.
Above: Edward Aiona and Eastwood on the set of City Heat

"Eddie was a great guy — so talented and devoted to his craft," Eastwood said in a statement. "He made the job look effortless."

In between Magnum Force (1973) and his final credit, The Bridges of Madison County (1995), Aiona teamed with the actor-director-producer on Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), The Enforcer (1976), The Gauntlet (1977), Every Which Way But Loose (1978), Any Which Way You Can (1980), Firefox (1982), Honkytonk Man (1982), Sudden Impact (1983), City Heat (1984), Pale Rider (1985), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), Bird (1988), The Dead Pool (1988), Pink Cadillac (1989), The Rookie (1990), best picture winner Unforgiven (1992), In the Line of Fire (1993) and A Perfect World (1993).

"He was extreme in getting what was required for the screenplay," Mike Sexton, Aiona's assistant before becoming prop master at Malpaso following his mentor's retirement, said in a statement. "If the sewing needle for Unforgiven indicated the year was 1898, Eddie wouldn't accept a needle from 1899. No one would know the difference except Eddie, who would track it down through a whole network of resources until he had it absolutely right, and this was in the era before access to the Internet.

"It was the scene where Morgan Freeman darns Clint's face. Eddie went from references he had for antique markets, period collectors and museums until he had the needle for that year, and then he put it together with a little kit that was period exact."

Aiona's prop specialty was weapons, Gentry said, and he designed a fully functional camouflage pistol for the assassin played by John Malkovich in In the Line of Fire. He worked often with veteran cinematographer Jack N. Green. Born in Hawaii, the sinewy Aiona arrived on the mainland as a champion lightweight boxer in 1959. He drifted from boxing to day work at Paramount and then at Warner Brothers before finding his niche as a prop master. A gifted sketch artist, Aiona also served as prop manager for two features directed by Eastwood's onetime girlfriend Sondra Locke: Ratboy (1986) and Impulse (1990), both from Malpaso.

Survivors include his wife of 29 years, Bobbe; children Edward, Jan, Tadd and Penny; stepchildren Lynne, Richard, Jane and Gary; and grandchildren Mat, Tali, Andy, Noah, Katie, Gus and Haley. A private service is set for Hawaii. 

Saturday 11 April 2015

Clint, on the passing of Geoffrey Lewis

“I was very saddened by the news of Geoffrey’s passing,” said Clint Eastwood, in a statement. “I worked with him on many films and thought he was a wonderful actor and terrific performer. He had the most expressive face—which made working with him so fun. Geoffrey will be greatly missed.”

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Geoffrey Lewis, long-time Clint Eastwood co-star, dies at 79

Some really sad news to report – yesterday 7th April, Clint’s long-time friend and regular co- star Geoff Lewis died at the age of 79. Unfortunately, because of my birthday yesterday – I only learnt about this today. Lewis, father of actress Juliette, starred alongside Clint in many of his classic movies including High Plains Drifter, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot the Every which way movies, Bronco Billy and more. I have posted below a number of various reports from several newspapers and publications. A wonderful actor, sadly missed RIP.

L.A. Times
Geoffrey Lewis, a veteran character actor and frequent collaborator of Clint Eastwood, has died. He was 79.
Lewis' death was confirmed by Carleen Donovan, publicist for one of his daughters, actress Juliette Lewis. No other details were immediately provided. Geoffrey Lewis first co-starred with Eastwood in the 1973 Western "High Plains Drifter" and would go on to appear in several other films with him, including "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" (1974), "Every Which Way But Loose" (1978) and its sequel, and in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" (1997), directed by Eastwood.
Lewis' other movie credits include "The Great Waldo Pepper," "Heaven's Gate," "Catch Me If You Can," The Lawnmower Man," "The Man Without a Face" and "Maverick." A prolific television actor, Lewis earned a Golden Globe nomination for his work on the 1980s sitcom "Flo," a spinoff of "Alice," and also appeared in such series as "Bonanza," "Gunsmoke," "Mission: Impossible," "Mork & Mindy," "Lou Grant," "Magnum, P.I.," "Murder, She Wrote," "The X-Files" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."
Early Wednesday morning, Juliette Lewis posted a photo of her and her father on Instagram and wrote, "He loved us so. So so much. I am forever my father's daughter and he will never [be] gone."

The Hollywood Reporter
Geoffrey Lewis, a prolific character actor who appeared opposite frequent collaborator Clint Eastwood as his pal Orville Boggs in Every Which Way but Loose and its sequel, has died. He was 79. Lewis, the father of Oscar-nominated actress Juliette Lewis, died Tuesday, family friend Michael Henderson said. No other details were immediately available.
Lewis began his long association with Eastwood in High Plains Drifter (1973). He also appeared with the actor in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), Bronco Billy (1980), Pink Cadillac (1989) and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997).
Lewis scored a Golden Globe nomination for playing bartender Earl Tucker on the 1980s CBS sitcom Flo,its spinoff, Alice, that starred Polly Holliday, and he had recurring roles on such series as Falcon Crest and the syndicated Land’s End. Lewis portrayed real-life Prohibition-era gangster Harry Pierpont in Dillinger (1973), and his résumé also includes such notable films as The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), The Wind and the Lion (1975), Lucky Lady (1975), The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976), Heaven’s Gate (1980), Catch Me If You Can (1989), The Lawnmower Man (1992), The Man Without a Face (1993), Maverick (1994) and The Devil’s Rejects (2005).
Geoff with daughter Juliette Lewis
The actor also stood out as a gravedigger turned vampire in the 1979 Tobe Hooper CBS miniseries Salem’s Lot, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel. Lewis had appeared on such 1970s TV shows as Then Came Bronson, Bonanza and The Name of the Game before scoring a minor role as a cowhand in The Culpepper Cattle Co. (1972). Later, he showed up on such series as Mod Squad, The Waltons, Police Woman, Mork & Mindy, Lou Grant, Gun Shy, Magnum, P.I. and The X-Files. Lewis was a co-founder of the spoken-word performance group Celestial Navigations, working with musician and songwriter Geoff Levin.

Actor Geoffrey Lewis, who appeared in several Clint Eastwood movies and made guest appearances on dozens of TV shows in the ’60s through ’80s, died Tuesday in Woodland Hills, Calif. of natural causes, according to a family friend. He was 79. The character actor, who often appeared in Westerns, was the father of actress Juliette Lewis.
He had roles in Eastwood’s “High Plains Drifter,” “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot,” as Orville Boggs in “Every Which Way but Loose” and “Any Which Way You Can” as well as in “Bronco Billy,” “Pink Cadillac” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Among his other film credits were “The Devil’s Rejects,” Michael Cimino’s “Heaven’s Gate,” John Milius’ “Dillinger,” TV movie “Salem’s Lot” and Michael Ritchie’s “Smile.”
Lewis received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance on the 1980 series “Flo,” and appeared in numerous other shows including “Barnaby Jones,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Lou Grant,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “Falcon Crest” and “Murder, She Wrote.”
Born in San Diego, he grew up in Rhode Island and moved to California at age 10. He is survived by his wife Paula Hochhalter, Juliette Lewis and nine other children including Lightfield and Matthew, both actors, and Dierdre, an actress.

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio to Play Good Guys This Time

According to an exclusive report from Deadline, Clint Eastwood is courting a movie that would re-team The Wolf of Wall Street stars.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill made such a charismatic duo in Scorsese’s film that every world-class director is chomping at the bit to work with them. The two actors had such a great time and so much success with working together on that movie, that they came on board as producers on this upcoming project in order to work together again — and now they’re trying to find someone to direct. After Eastwood’s awards and box office goldmine with this year’s American Sniper, he seems like just the man for the job.

The movie will see Hill playing Richard Jewell, the security guard credited with saving many lives at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta when he cleared people from the area after discovering a suspicious backpack before the bomb within it exploded. Jewell was promptly plunged into a weird sort of hell after saving all those people when he was accused of being the terrorist who planted the bomb in the Olympic compound.
DiCaprio will play Jewell’s friend and lawyer, who helped him get cleared of terrorism charges despite only having experience in real estate closings. The improbable story was told in a 1997 Vanity Fair article, “The Ballad of Richard Jewell,” which was adapted into a screenplay by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray.
Both Hill and DiCaprio earned Oscar nominations for their parts in The Wolf of Wall Street, with the acclaim coming in no small part from the two actors’ chemistry. The film was praised for being Scorsese’s return to classic form and The New York Times said Jonah Hill is “a manic, tubby Joe Pesci to Mr. DiCaprio’s Robert De Niro” in his role as the lackey. Hill famously had to lobby hard and take a huge pay cut to get the part, but it made his career as a serious actor. Their parts as depraved Wall Street stockbrokers couldn’t be further from the heroic figures they’ll be playing in this next movie, but their obvious chemistry as actors unafraid to take risks together will benefit them regardless of the material.

As for Eastwood, the filmmaker recently scored six Academy Award nominations and one win for the controversial Iraq War biopic American Sniper. Rare for an awards season darling, the movie was also hugely successful at the box office, grossing over $500 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. Though Sniper was mired in political controversy, Eastwood coaxed Bradley Cooper into what was pretty much unanimously praised as the best performance of his career. Any actor would love to have a film succeed both at the box office and during awards season, so if a deal can be worked out, it’s likely Eastwood will get the gig.

Aside from the surface success of American Sniper, the movie has something in common thematically with the planned project from Hill and DiCaprio. Jewell was put on trial for suspected terrorism and only released by the FBI after three months of hell and vilification by the media. In some circles, the sniper Chris Kyle, who serves as the subject of American Sniper, is a similar falsely vilified hero. For others, the film served as a gross romanticization of a sociopath. Eastwood will likely take a unique angle on the story and with Hill and DiCaprio in the lead roles, this is sure to be an awards season contender.

Wogan 1991 Interview with Eastwood on BBC iPlayer

Just a quick reminder that BBC iPlayer is currently showing a series of Best of Wogan shows. Episode 12 is entitled Action Heroes and features Clint's interview from January 1991 which tied in with his latest movie The Rookie. The interview was conducted via a satellite link with Clint in L.A. from a hotel rooftop. I have this entire interview somewhere on a rather old VHS cassette, sadly, this version of the interview is in an edited version, and lasting just a mere 5 mins. It's a shame the BBC don't tend to do a lot more with their excellent iPlayer - why not put up entire episodes in order for people to enjoy interviews in their entirety? 
For anyone who has not seen it, it captures Clint in good, humorous spirits - he also mentions that he will begin filming a new western - which of course went on to be his Oscar winner Unforgiven. At the point of posting this, the programme will be available for the next 3 weeks or so - and probably only available to UK residents. 

Here is the official blurb on Episode 12:
Sir Terry Wogan remembers some memorable moments from the Wogan show. In this episode the guests have all starred in some of cinema's biggest action adventures and the roll call includes Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, Liam Neeson, and Denzel Washington. 

Thursday 2 April 2015

Clint Eastwood circling Richard Jewell project

After American Sniper earned six Oscar nominations and became the biggest box-office hit of 2014, Clint Eastwood can basically make any movie he chooses. Deadline reported that he’s contemplating reuniting with Leonardo DiCaprio for a movie about suspected-terrorist-turned-hero Richard Jewell, and EW has confirmed those discussions. DiCaprio’s Appian Way production company is one of the groups producing the Fox project, with a script by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) and Jonah Hill attached to star as Jewell, the Centennial Olympic Park security guard who was initially vilified by the FBI and media after the 1996 bombing of the Atlanta Olympics. DiCaprio might co-star as Jewell’s attorney.

At one point, Paul Greengrass, who worked with Ray on Captain Phillips, was interested in directing. But if Eastwood decides this is what he wants, expect the pieces to fall in place rather quickly—even if Fox and Warner Bros., Eastwood’s home base, might need to hash out a deal to make it happen.

Thanks to Davy Triumph for bringing this to my attention