Blood debt (Blood Work) is a 2002 film directed and starring Clint Eastwood. The subject, taken from the novel of the same name by Michael Connelly, concerns the challenge between a serial killer and an FBI agent who, however, leads to serious health problems. With Clint Eastwood, Wanda De Jesus, Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Tina Lifford.
Los Angeles: Federal agent Terry McCaleb lives on a small boat docked in the port of San Pedro after retiring due to severe heart problems that forced him to undergo a transplant. When he discovers that the donor of his heart is a young Hispanic woman who has been the victim of the serial killer whom McCaleb has been hunting for years, he decides to go back to the criminal’s trail.
From a good detective script, Clint Eastwood he makes a film consistent with his poetics. A little verbose in some situations, questionable for some choices of direction, clumsy in the final showdown, it is however appreciable for the ability, only of the great artisans, to pass, through the apparently armored meshes of genre cinema, a complex discourse that touches various themes (old age, racism, relationship with women), but which mainly revolves around the cornerstone constituted by the ambiguous relationship between life and death, gift and crime, justice and violence, freedom and sacrifice. What for one person means death, for another it means life: on this tragic paradox, Eastwood has based the ethics of some of his major films, from Million Dollar Baby at Gran Torino. A moral thriller that paves the way for Clint’s golden age, inaugurated the following year with the great Mystic River.
The bridges of Madison County (The Bridges of Madison County) is a 1995 romantic film directed and starring Clint Eastwood with Meryl Streep, based on the novel of the same name by Robert James Waller. The film was a huge box office success. In fact, he grossed more than 70 million dollars in the United States alone, while his total profit was 182 million dollars, against a budget of only 22 million. The film also received very positive reviews from critics, who praised in particular the interpretation of Meryl Streep, which also earned her an Oscar nomination for best actress, and the direction of Clint Eastwood, considered one of the best by him ever. realized. With Meryl Streep, Clint Eastwood, Annie Corley, Victor Slezak.
In the fall of 1956 Robert Kinkaid, a professional photographer, is in Madison County, Iowa, to shoot a report on the famous covered bridges. There he meets Francesca Johnson, married and with two children, but alone at home for four days: this is the brief but intense period of time in which their passion explodes and consumes itself. Four days that must last a lifetime and must redeem it for the whole, recovering an ability to love, to choose, to feel, to help each other, which above all on Francesca’s part seemed now abandoned.
The narrative traces of this film tiptoe to follow the flow lines of that mysterious magnetic field that is attraction. The viewer feels, little by little, sucked into the embrace of falling in love: an invincible force that first kidnaps the two protagonists, subtracting them from their respective normality, and then slowly pushes them, irresistibly, towards each other. The process is inexorable, yet never, at any moment, takes the fictional path of predictability, the path strewn with premonitory clues which, in certain pink literature, mark the fatal path of romantic fables. The feeling that something is happening is, instead, initially entrusted to the lukewarm realization that habits have been broken, by chance, by a small initiative reckless that is unexpectedly turning into a ‘experience, and perhaps even in one history.
The language of words and gestures is the one that absently pinches the inert surface of reality to raise the slightest flakes of smiling embarrassment, volatile clouds of immature thoughts, so impalpable as to be scattered in the tiny wind of a sigh. The relationship between Robert and Francesca is not a ‘adventure, because it does not have the character of a gamble, a challenge, and it is not a casual relationship, because it looks nothing like the usual opportunities greedily grabbed and quickly consumed. Courage is replaced by a fearful passion, or an adoring fear, and selfish desire by a blind will to abandon, which does not ask itself questions, and in particular does not ask itself, preliminarily, on the advisability of trusting and on possible risks. of the unprecedented enterprise. Their meeting is, in the syntax of life, the parenthesis that opens at the right moment, introducing an incident which, by its independent nature, escapes the grammatical norms of the period. For this reason it remains, indefinitely, free to express itself, surviving, within the main story, as the container of a subtext to be enriched, over time, with ever new meanings.
That hidden place of the soul is the casket in which, from that moment on, Francesca and Robert will deposit, day after day, the treasures of truth distilled by little things daily: the jewels of a wisdom matured in the sun – burning, because it is very bright – of the memory of four unforgettable days. Memory is the winning dimension, in sentiment, because it is the only one capable of resisting distance, silence, death itself: the written word, delivered to tickets, letters, diaries, is rightly the protagonist of this story, in which the legacy it is presented as the most intimate, precious, lasting and authentic form of gift. To prevail is the sense of‘extreme, understood as the culminating point of being, beyond which the boundless space of eternity can only open up: eternity it is all that fills the territories, beyond visible existence, into which the finite world fails to arrive, like the apparent emptiness left by a vanished love, or by an extinct life.
The bridges of Madison County makes the intensity of emotions gush out of the vortex of energy that revolves around an absence: it is in fact the lack of reason, of concrete and definable references, to exclude a priori any possibility of distinction, leaving, as the only applicable category, that ofabsolute. Which does not require, in order to exist, neither the support of a motive, nor the hold of a hope.