Tag Archives: Clint Eastwood

Pop!: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Edited

There’s an earthen quality to way Sergio Leone understands location that is almost otherworldly. The mood, the atmosphere, the sense of a place; they all seep up from the cracks, and he strangles you with it. Everything about the characters and the conflict is just laid out plainly and honestly on the screen in a sort of pure cinema we really didn’t see in genre works in the mid ’60s (horror excepted, and also, notably, the other great genre of the Italians in the ’60s). The sand doesn’t just exist; it hoarsely croaks, it robustly swallows, it does a stalwart, omnipresent, Herculean take-over of the entire event of the narrative and coats everything in a throaty sort of impact that cinema rarely attempts. We aren’t just watching sand. We’re rasping our voices. We’re searching for water. We’re drying out as we sit, welcoming each bead of sweat like an old friend to be ravenously devoured.
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Review: American Sniper

So much has been written about American Sniper over the past few months, about its unkempt, pro-war patriotism and its torn apart anti-war expose of human trauma, that it is somewhat shocking how little has been said about the one thing that really reveals its essence: Clint Eastwood. Whichever stance Sniper takes, it is unquestionably the work of its director, the old individualist who loves to raise the American male up on a pedestal of his own making and tear him down again, and the only filmmaker working today who understands the old-school spirit of mid-century genre pics by the likes of Sam Fuller, Sam Peckinpah, and John Sturges. American Sniper is at its best, and its worst, when it is most similar to its subject Chris Kyle, knowing his clean, blunt efficiency to a fault, and sharing not a little of his single-minded apprehension for anything out of its sights. Continue reading