Wednesday 31 May 2017

A Very Happy Birthday Clint

Today we are celebrating the birthday of the greatest cinema icon. Born on this day in 1930, Clint turns 87 years young. Clint's consistent work rate is, in every aspect, quite astonishing. As a director he continues to deliver thought provoking, intelligent and highly impressive projects. He has that rare ability to hold his audience who, in return, offer both a regular sense of loyalty and an unflinching level of support. Clint is truly one of the few remaining greats. On behalf of all your fans from around the world, I would like to wish you continued health, happiness and our very best wishes on your day. 

Never stop being reckless, Sir. 
The Clint Eastwood Archive    

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Clint at Cannes 2017

Clint Eastwood Says ‘We’ve Lost Our Sense of Humour’ and hints at a return to acting.
It’s great to see Clint returning to the Cannes Film Festival. There have been a few stories this week, so I have gathered some together here to provide an overall perspective. Eastwood told a rapturous Cannes audience on Sunday that he will return to acting in front of the camera. Eastwood was giving a master class at the Cannes Festival and received a three-minute ovation from those able to get in to the packed auditorium, in a crowd that included Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara.
The star notably did not address the political situation in the U.S., focusing on his long career in front of and behind the camera. He did say that his first “Dirty Harry” movie was considered politically incorrect, and was the start of an ongoing era of political correctness. “We’re killing ourselves by doing that, we’ve lost our sense of humour,” he said.
Having mostly eschewed acting for directing in recent years, Eastwood’s last on-screen performance was in 2012’s “The Trouble With the Curve.” He said he missed performing “once in a while but not often,” but added he plans to return at some point, “I did a lot of it for a long time. I’ll visit it again someday.”
Eastwood, 86, spoke about growing up in Depression-era America. “At 5 or 6, you didn’t notice and didn’t know any different,” he said. “Once you got old enough to understand the time, you realize how much you appreciate [your parents] because they had to go through that.”

He added: “Everyone thinks this last recession was bad, but they don’t know what it is like.” Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan asked Eastwood about his reputation for relying on his gut as a director: “Your instincts are sometimes better than your intellect,” Eastwood said. “Intellectualizing, or pseudo-intellectualizing, can get you in a real box.”
“Film is an emotional art form, not an intellectual art form at all.”

Asked about current movies and directors he admires, the star said that between working on recent projects, “American Sniper” and “Sully,” he has not gotten to see new movies, but he did recently revisit “Sunset Boulevard.”
Stewart Clarke, Variety, MAY 21st, 2017

Clint Eastwood tells Cannes he might act again some day
CANNES, France (AP) — Clint Eastwood regaled the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday with stories from his long career, predicted a possible return to acting and decried the rise of political correctness.
Eastwood was honoured with several screenings of his films, including one marking the 25th anniversary of "Unforgiven." In a staged conversation on Sunday, the 86-year-old director said he would revisit acting "someday." The last time Eastwood appeared on screen was 2012's "Trouble With the Curve." Before that, he starred in his own 2008 film, "Gran Torino."
Eastwood didn't talk about current political events, but while discussing his then-controversial 1971 film "Dirty Harry," he waded into a topic he's touched on before: so-called political correctness.
"A lot of people thought it was politically incorrect," Eastwood said of "Dirty Harry." ''That was at the beginning of the era that we're in now, where everybody thinks everyone's politically correct. We're killing ourselves by doing that. We've lost our sense of humour."
Sofia Coppola's remake of Don Siegel's 1971 film "The Beguiled," which starred Eastwood, is to premiere this week in Cannes, but Eastwood sounded unfamiliar with Coppola's movie.
He's currently preparing to direct "The 15:17 to Paris," about the foiling of a 2015 Islamic State group attack on a train heading to the French capital from Brussels. Three Americans, two of them off-duty members of the military, contributed to the subduing of the gunman. Eastwood said the film suited today's "strange times." Festival-goers mobbed Eastwood's talk. Warner Bros. executives, including studio head Kevin Tsujihara, sat in the front row. Much of the conversation, moderated by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan, touched on Eastwood's attitudes about moviemaking.
"If you have good luck with your instincts, you might as well trust them," Eastwood said. "It's an emotional art form. It's not an intellectual art form at all."
New York Daily News
Watch Clint Eastwood's Cinema Master Class
Clint Eastwood treated Cannes festival goers to a Cinema Master Class over the weekend. Eastwood served as President of the Jury at Cannes Film Festival in 1994.
The Oscar winning filmmaker spoke at the Debussy Theatre to present the restored copy of Unforgiven, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Festival with Warner. On the 21st, he inaugurated the 70th ANNIVERSARY MASTERCLASS with a discussion in the company of American critic Kenneth Turan in the Buñuel screening room. The legendary actor and director freely spoke about his films, childhood and beginnings.
Clint Eastwood: ‘We are killing ourselves’ with political correctness
Legendary actor and film director Clint Eastwood told a crowd at the Cannes Film Festival Sunday that political correctness is killing the entertainment industry.
The Western film icon, who was visiting the festival in southern France for a 25th anniversary screening of his 1992 film “Unforgiven,” said America’s obsession with political correctness started around the time of the release of his 1971 movie “Dirty Harry,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“It was far-out at that time, so I brought it to [director] Don [Siegel], and he liked it,” Mr. Eastwood said. “A lot of people thought it was politically incorrect. That was at the beginning of the era that we’re in now with political correctness. We are killing ourselves, we’ve lost our sense of humor. But I thought it was interesting and it was daring.”
Mr. Eastwood made the comments during a master class conducted by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan. Mr. Eastwood, who went to Cannes to introduce the screening of “Unforgiven,” said he initially hadn’t planned to sit through the entire movie.
“I thought I’d just sit through the first five minutes, but after a while I thought, ‘This isn’t so bad, so maybe I’ll stay for it,’” he said, THR reported. “I enjoyed it. I saw a lot of things that I’d forgotten.”
Mr. Eastwood’s current movie project is “The 15:17 to Paris,” the Warner Bros. Pictures’ retelling of the 2015 heroics of three Americans who stopped an Islamic State attack on a train from Brussels to Paris.
By Jessica Chasmar - The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

Clint Eastwood does not rule out a return to Westerns
CANNES, May 21 — Clint Eastwood does not rule out making another Western, he said yesterday as he presented a 25th anniversary restored copy of Unforgiven at the Cannes Film Festival.
“When I read the (Unforgiven) script 25 years ago, I always thought that this would be a good last Western for me to do,” said the 86-year-old actor-director.
“And it was the last Western, because I have never read one that worked as well as this one since that. “But who knows, maybe something will come up in the future,” said Eastwood, who made his name in the TV series Rawhide and the so-called spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s, now considered classics. Unforgiven won four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for Eastwood who also starred. — Reuters
Clint Eastwood Decries P.C. Culture in Cannes: "We've Lost Our Sense of Humour"
The director took part in a master class as he visited the fest for a 25th anniversary screening of 'Unforgiven.'
As far as Clint Eastwood is concerned, society’s current obsession with political correctness began with his 1971 movie Dirty Harry.
Coming in the wake of his three Sergio Leone Westerns that began with 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars, the violent San Francisco-set cop story consolidated Eastwood’s growing stardom, and he makes no apologies for it.
“It was far-out at that time, so I brought it to [director] Don [Siegel], and he liked it,” Eastwood recalled Sunday during a visit to the Cannes Film Festival. “A lot of people thought it was politically incorrect. That was at the beginning of the era that we’re in now with political correctness. We are killing ourselves, we’ve lost our sense of humour. But I thought it was interesting and it was daring.”
That was about as political as Eastwood got as he discussed his films in a master class, answering questions posed by Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan.
The veteran actor/director came to Cannes to introduce a screening of a restored version of his 1992 Oscar-winner Unforgiven, which unspooled as part of the Cannes Classics sidebar to mark the film’s 25th anniversary.
“I thought I’d just sit through the first five minutes, but after a while I thought, ‘This isn’t so bad, so maybe I’ll stay for it,'” Eastwood admitted. “I enjoyed it. I saw a lot of things that I’d forgotten.”
The filmmaker recounted how David Webb Peoples’ script first came to him as a writing sample around 1980, and he immediately thought, “This would be a great last Western for me.” But after optioning it, it sat in his desk for 10 years before he finally got around to making it.
During the course of the discussion, Eastwood paid tribute to his two mentors, Leone and Siegel. “Sergio had a different way of looking at the size and scope of films. I learned a lot from him,” he said. “Don Siegel was extremely efficient, he was faster than anyone I’ve ever seen, but that’s because he thought faster.”
Eastwood called his reputation for quickly shooting as few takes as possible “a lie,” but then admitted, “I like to always shoot the first take. I like to see the what the mechanism is in [the actors’] faces the first time it comes out of their mouths. If it works on the first take and you print it, everybody gets in that mood — 'Okay, we’re going somewhere.'”
Eastwood explained how he likes to keep his sets calm and drama-free. On other films on which he’d work, he noticed how an assistant director would go around yelling, “Quiet on the set!.” But after a visit with one of the many U.S. presidents he’s known — he said it was probably Gerald Ford — he was impressed by how quietly the Secret Service agents communicated with each other through their lapel mikes and ear-pieces, and so he adopted that practice on his own sets.
And, Eastwood explained, it’s always been important for him to set the tone, saying, “If the director is not positive about where he’s going, the whole crew becomes sedate and nobody moves forward.”
As for why he decided to make so many of the specific films he’s made, the laconic director said simply, “If you have good luck with your instincts, you might as well stick with it. Intellectualizing or pseudo-intellectualizing, you can get yourself in a real box.”
Eastwood is currently readying the next project he will direct, The 15:17 to Paris, which is the true story of three American friends who defeated an attempted terrorist attack on a train bound from Brussels to Paris in 2015. 
VALERY HACHE – The Hollywood Reporter 5/21/2017

Monday 15 May 2017

Alternative High Plains Drifter artwork design by Ron Lesser

I was very happy to recently discover this alternative design of Ron Lesser’s artwork for High Plains Drifter (1973). This newly found artwork illustrates segmented movement in the arm of the stranger (Clint Eastwood) holding his pistol. The drawing also depicts the mayhem of exploding buildings and destruction of the town during the film’s memorable and exciting climax.
Ron Lesser’s talent has always been admired and loved by Eastwood fans, with High Plains Drifter always being among the most popular of Eastwood’s film poster designs. New York painter Ron Lesser used to create movie art, including award-winning posters and storyboards for some classic western films including The Way West and A Man Called Horse. He has also painted pieces for the covers of books by legendary western writers such as Louis L’Amour. These days, however, Lesser devotes much of his time to creating paintings of Native Americans, cowboys, and the Civil War. “I am trying to tell a story,” he says. “I like people to look at one of my paintings and feel like they could step into the scene.”
Lesser is known for his attention to detail and for capturing the high drama of life in the West in the 19th century. Native American figures, whether they are posed or engaged in battle, are often set against the magnificent mountains and luminously coloured skies of the frontier terrain. “I am always trying to make the work authentic, like it may have looked back then,” Lesser says. To achieve this accuracy, the artist reads, researches, and consults with experts.

Lesser says he is inspired by the works of some of the country’s top artists as well as illustrators such as Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth. He is represented by B&R Art Gallery, Canyon Country, CA.