by ALESSANDRO RICCI – Some time ago the “old Clint” took care of his two children fighting with a poor pig. It was 1992 and the film, which he directed and starred in, was The ruthless, an extraordinary success with audiences and critics, so much so as to re-evaluate the soul and virtue of a director and an actor who had previously been unjustly underestimated, if not openly opposed. From that moment on, he looks to Clint Eastwood as a talented author, a complete filmmaker with an epic and nostalgic, romantic and twilight touch; a touch he would keep in all of his later films. But who is really Clint Eastwood? A question that seems legitimate, but it is not: artists speak with their art, they rely on it to express themselves, to confess and their real life should not be considered. Clint is or has been a reactionary like Inspector Callaghan, he is truly taciturn like William Munny of The Unforgiven, he is angry and disillusioned as in Million dollar baby, is resigned as in Gran Torino?
Answering these questions is difficult, and we can only appreciate the beauty of his films, of his characters with the knowledge that a part of him is certainly present in them, but it is possible and probable that one side of his character is in a film and another side is in a gesture, in a joke, in a close-up. How can we forget the close-ups of Clint shot by Sergio Leone in the most famous western trilogy of cinema; perhaps all of Clint Eastwood was already there, but this could only be our request for uniformity, a request for rules, the understandable but not legitimate need to order everything, even the process and the creative path of a filmmaker. Clint Eastwood is 91 years old and on December 2nd he goes out in Italy Cry Macho – Homecoming, the latest feature film he directed and starred in. We can almost be sure it will be a great film, and we can deduce it from the trailer and its overwhelming presence, showing an evident act of love towards cinema and its spectators.
Old Clint doesn’t judge himself, he doesn’t lock himself in fixed patterns, he just loves him. It seemed that in Gran Torino he had delivered his testament as an actor with an amazing final scene, but today Clint is still here struggling as a director and as an actor, doing this “dirty and hard” work because someone has to do it. Good. He has acted in unforgettable films and directed masterpieces, for which the actors and all the collaborators have won prizes and awards, and have been able to speak very well of him and thank him. The atmosphere of his sets is always excellent and his actors are always put in a position to give their best. So tell Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon and Leonard DiCaprio, some of his best and most famous performers. They remember that working with Eastwood is an exceptional and highly formative experience, due to his calm and his mastery, his confidence.
After all, Eastwood’s works refer to a moral code, not hypocritical and superficial. His characters act trying to save what little honor men manage to have, they are not fake and accept the consequences of their actions. This alone is enough to love Clint’s art, without pretending to know man perfectly and indeed accepting his contradictions.
Exactly, in Cry Macho, plays the role of Mike Milo, a former rodeo star and now a declining horse breeder, who in 1979 accepted the assignment of a former boss to bring his son home from Mexico. Forced to take back roads on their journey to Texas, the unlikely couple faces an unexpectedly arduous journey, during which the tired horse breeder finds unexpected connections as well as his sense of redemption.