Monday 18 December 2023

Happy Christmas and Yearly review 2023

Happy Christmas and Yearly review 2023
On reflection, 2023 has been something of another quiet (and somewhat disruptive) year. Nevertheless, we have still managed to conjure up some 90 new posts which I hope you have all enjoyed. Of course, a great deal of these posts have been retrospective in nature, but as always, keeping the spirit alive and kicking remains the common goal. We all have plenty of great Eastwood memories, and I’m determined to never let them fade.  
Back in January we began with a little Flashback feature – The Clint Eastwood Venice Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award, and I posted a couple of Rare For Your Consideration Ads for Escape from Alcatraz. We also had another Flashback feature looking at The Gauntlet U.S. Release and Response. 
We followed this with a rare Any which way you can one day ad which became something of a restoration project – but finished up looking pretty good. We also did a little feature on the Clint Eastwood Region 1 DVD collections of 2003. Also, in the same month we posted some excellent Rare Japanese Poster Artwork for The Gauntlet and an equally rare Japanese poster for Pale Rider. We followed this with a nice little piece on The NATO American Movie Awards 1980 containing rare advertisements and photos. We also finished off a busy January with The Gauntlet unseen, a great piece featuring some cracking photos which surfaced. 
February was a little quieter, with a small piece, Clint's cops on cassette which featured some rarely seen WHV ads. The month was a little too quiet for me, so I set about putting together quite an extensive piece on Clint: Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, Paris, Europe and beyond January 1985. I was really pleased with how this came out and, in the process, managed to utilised some great photos I’d had sitting in files. 
We kicked off quite a busy month of March with a feature, The Fourth Annual Clint Eastwood Celebrity Tennis Tournament July 7th 1973. We followed this up with another piece I was particularly happy with, Design me a Poster, The Outlaw Josey Wales, from Camera to concept. 
We also put together an interesting little look at Clint and the Serbian comic book market, and how Clint’s image has been used over the decades. I also reproduced a RARE Interview from SHOW Magazine February 1970 on location during The Warriors which of course became Kelly’s Heroes. Also, we featured Clint Eastwood: Affluent Golfer, Rare Magazine Cover, introduced Pod Casty for me, a weekly pod cast by Jake Serwin & Ian Rhine – which I still tune in for religiously every week, and we reported for the first time on rumours surfacing about Juror #2 as Clint’s next movie. 
In April we featured the new Documentary: Clint Eastwood, la dernière légende, and I must thank my dear friend James – who unselfishly made sure I was kept updated on all documentary pieces – James you’re a legend, sir. We also featured a couple of Blasts from the Past: ranging from Target Magazine, May 1972 to Top Trump advertising from the 80’s. 
May was a bit of a mixed bag, aside from Clint’s 93rd Birthday, we featured some pieces including a beautiful Firefox crew Jacket, the elusive Style A Where Eagles Dare Quad poster, a Paint Your Wagon mystery photograph, and announced that Kiefer Sutherland was joining the cast of Clint's Juror #2. 
In June we posted a nice piece, 100 Years of Warner Bros. (2023) featuring some great photos of Clint. I also put together a little mid-year Flashback: Las Vegas, November 15th 1959 When Clint met Sammy, again with some great rare images. We closed June by reproducing an excellent piece I found, The Unusual Clint Eastwood Crime Drama The Mule Needs A Closer Examination – which was a fine piece of reading. 
July brought major disruptions in Hollywood; the strike officially began on July 14th. As part of the rules established on July 10th, actors could not engage in film or television productions and not take part in promotional work, such as press junkets, film premieres, and events. As a result, all work was suspended on Juror #2. However, we pushed on, and welcomed a new friend to the Archive, Australian Travis Trewin who supplied us with some great rare pieces from his collection. Also our French friend, David Fakrikian published his latest project DVDvision n°2 le Mook Clint Eastwood & Dirty Harry – a French text book which became a labour of love for David. 
In August we had a Flashback: Celebrating The Duke’s 40 years in film and that Paramount gathering – a nice piece which brought together all of those famous Paramount shots. August also saw me pulling my finger out and finally putting together an original piece on the Firefox Video and Arcade game – I had gathered quite a few pieces together over the decades, so it was nice to finally pull it all together and publish them. I also got around to scanning an original article in my collection - My Wife Maggie by Clint Eastwood, a nice rare 60’s feature. 
I also put together a piece on High Plains Drifter – The French Release 50 Years Ago Today – which included a nice range of French material. We followed this up with, High Plains Drifter 50th Anniversary - Rare Advertising from Universal. We concluded this mini celebration by publishing some High Plains Drifter High Res cast member photos. I also posted a small UK Dollar Nostalgia piece including a few rare pieces. I finished off the month of August by finally putting together an extensive Guide to collecting Eastwood related 7” Vinyl Singles, another project I’d wanted to piece together for quite some time. 
In September I posted a nice piece, How Donna Mills landed the role in Play Misty for Me which proved a popular article. We also posted Dirty Harry: The Independent Film Journal Review, December 23rd 1971. In the same month we reviewed Clint Eastwood: The Iconic Filmmaker and his Work, by Ian Nathan – an excellent publication and beautifully packaged. I also published a bit of restoration work on a Rare Japanese LP featuring Magnum Force on the cover art. On the subject of rare albums, I also featured a very rare Korean pressing which featured Hang em High as the main cover art. We also had a little Flashback feature: Christmas season 1980 and made good use of a Columbia – EMI – Warner in-house magazine which had been sitting in a file for an eternity. We closed September with an extremely rare Firefox insert poster which was secured by the Archive’s very own, Davy Triumph. 
October began in great style with a Rare 1971 interview with Clint talking about A Fistful of Dollars, a big thank you to our friend Graham Rye, Editor of 007 Magazine for coming up with this gem. We also took a walk down memory lane with The Birth of UK Home Video – Dirty Harry’s first video release. October also saw the Propstore Auction: Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction: London 2023 – which featured some incredible Eastwood related items. This month also saw us cover some really nice and very rare posters such as Badge 373 / Coogan’s Bluff Double-Bill and a Beguiled / Two Mules for Sister Sara Quad. 
In November we featured Irene Cara’s Personalised 1984 City Heat Movie Cast Jacket and a Eastwood / Universal mystery promo leaflet which has us still scratching our heads. November also saw an end to the Hollywood strikes and that filming had restarted on juror #2 – and with it we found out that Chris Messina had joined the cast. We concluded the month of November with a picture of Clint seen filming on the Georgia set for Juror #2 – and wearing a bushy white beard – which, for some reason, seemed to be the focus of a minor media frenzy? 
So, in December we announced that Oscar winning actor J.K. Simmons had Joined the cast of Juror #2. With such an impressive ensemble cast growing, I’ll be very interested in finally seeing Juror #2.

Sadly, 2023 also saw the passing of some colleges and co-stars from the Eastwood circle of family and friends. We said farewell to Barbara Walters, Suzanne Somers, Roxanne Tunis and Richard Roundtree - all of whom helped the Eastwood light shine brightly and will be sadly missed.

Finally, a big Thank you to everyone for your continued support - and especially to my team of correspondents and helpers who continue to do a fabulous job in keeping the spirit alive. It's very much appreciated.

Have a great Christmas and a very Happy New Year ~ Kindest, Darren 

Tuesday 12 December 2023

J.K. Simmons Joins Nicholas Hoult in Eastwood’s Juror #2

J.K. Simmons Joins Nicholas Hoult in Clint Eastwood’s Juror #2
Toni Collette and Kiefer Sutherland are already on board the legal drama that recently restarted production.
The Hollywood Reporters states: Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons has joined Nicholas Hoult and Toni Collette in Juror #2, the legal thriller Clint Eastwood is directing for Warner Bros. Shooting is currently underway in Atlanta.
In addition to Hoult and Collette, Gabriel Basso, Zoey Deutch, Leslie Bibb, Chris Messina and Kiefer Sutherland are on the call sheet.
Per the studio’s official logline, the script by Jonathan Abrams follows family man Justin Kemp (Hoult) who, while serving as a juror in a high-profile murder trial, finds himself struggling with a serious moral dilemma … one he could use to sway the jury verdict to potentially convict — or free — the wrong killer.
Simmons will play one of the jurors.
Collette is playing the prosecutor, Basso the accused, and Messina the public defender. Deutch is playing Hoult’s wife, while Sutherland is the lead’s AA sponsor.
On top of directing, Eastwood is producing via his production company Malpaso. Tim Moore and Jessica Meier of Malpaso and Dichotomy’s Adam Goodman and Matt Skiena are also producing.
Simmons won an Oscar for his portrayal of the hard-driving music professor in Damien Chazelle’s acclaimed drama Whiplash, one of the actor’s many accolades for the role. He earned an Oscar nomination for his work opposite Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem in 2021’s Being the Ricardos. He continues to lean into his audience-favorite role of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson in various Spider-Man movies and voiced the character in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

Friday 1 December 2023

Photo Opportunity #44

Photo Opportunity #44

For our final Photo Opportunity of 2023, I’ve picked one of several photos that were taken at The Cannes International Film Festival on May 20th, 2008 in Cannes, France. Clint is pictured here with Angelina Jolie, the star of his latest film 'Changeling' which was premiering at the Palais festivals.  Jolie was heavily pregnant (with twins) at the time with her then partner Brad Pitt who was also in attendance. The premiere was quite a family event, Clint was there with his then wife Dina Ruiz and Clint’s children Kyle and Alison also attended. 

The President of the Official Jury was American actor and director Sean Penn. Changeling was entered officially in competition, but it was The Class (Entre les murs), directed by Laurent Cantet which would go on to win the Palme d'Or.