“I speak little, but when I do I want to say something”: Eastwood, everyone knows, is a shy man of few words. Director, actor and producer, embodies the figure ofantidivo par excellence who has always downsized his role behind the camera with a phrase that has remained famous: «50% of the success of a film depends on the writers, 40% on the actors. The director still has 10% left to ruin “.
There are many stories behind the films of this prolific Californian filmmaker, who tells himself in a documentary by title Clint Eastwood: A Cinematic Legacy, scheduled for preview today at the Turin Film Festival, made by Gary Leva and divided into nine chapters to better focus the legacy of the last great hero of the west. Produced by Warner, to whom Eastwood has been linked for most of his long career, the film collects not only the testimonies of Clint, who tells himself with intelligence and irony, but also those of many of his colleagues and friends, such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, George Lucas Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Tom Hanks, Hilary Swank, Kevin Costner, Bradley Cooper, Kathy Bates, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mel Gibson, Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Tommy Lee Jones, Arnold Schwarzenegger, John Milius. Retracing his professional life, from his role in the series The men of the prairie as far as Cry Macho – Homecoming
, the documentary reflects on the legacy collected by Eastwood from the aforementioned Leone and Siegel, but also John Ford, Howard Hawks and Gary Cooper, on the quality of his cinema at the crossroads between classic and modern, on his way of working with the crew and directing the actors, ready to accept unexpected events and improvisations, on the courage of dealing with uncomfortable issues that others would have avoided, on reversal of the mythology of the west which not infrequently approached him to Frank Capra’s cinema, on that one eclecticism which allowed him to change his style and subvert the rules of the genre (he had never before seen an inspector like Callaghan, which overcoming the limits allowed by tradition will eventually become an archetype), to tell normal people in exceptional circumstances, heroes by chance, fragile and contradictory, but profoundly pure and honest, often victims of injustices, thus restoring historical truth. He investigated the folds of society and focused his lens on horrors of war, where it is mainly the young who die. “A quiet man”, Eastwood is referred to as John Wayne in Ford’s film, “A filmmaker in contact with the heart of the country”. His characters, rendered three-dimensional and iconic also thanks to formidable dialogues and lapidary jokes, they bring order to the chaos of the world, not through revenge, but reconciliation and that subtle humor that distinguishes most of his films, mixing action and drama with comedy. Always in the name of a incessant change, which for Clint himself is the secret of his extraordinary artistic longevity.