Monday, August 6, 2012

Endorsement: Clint Eastwood makes Romney’s day | The Salt Lake Tribune

Endorsement: Clint Eastwood makes Romney’s day | The Salt Lake Tribune:

Eastwood is one of my favorite directors, and it's frustrating when a hero endorses a candidate who espouses policies that essentially embody a meanness of spirit. Eastwood is a well known Republican, of course, but I had thought that he would have no truck with Romney, who has turned into a sock puppet for Wall Street and the Tea Party. The irony of this match up shouldn’t be lost on anyone; Eastwood, who has had a long career in movies portraying characters of genuine integrity and honesty, has endorsed a politician who has shifted,waffled, and misrepresented his political positions during this campaign in a conspicuous effort to say anything in order to attain power.  In effect, Hollywood’s Last Rugged Hero has taken up the cause of of a candidate who is a wrenching combination of Thurston Howell 3rd and Walter Mitty.  Republicans have always been about rugged individualism, and it's not a surprise that he aligns himself, philosophical, with the GOP's legacy bootstrap philosophy. But lately these fellows have just been mean, creepy social Darwinists in general, heartless bastards.  

Eastwood never struck  me  a  mean guy, but rather  as a man with compassion for human suffering. Suffering may be inevitable in our lifetimes, but there are things we can do for each other to increase a sense of community, a sense of serving a greater goal.It is a revelation that a man who has demonstrated real genius as a film maker--Eastwood-- seems to be falling back more on Party loyalty rather than supporting a candidate with real principles.

This makes the work of separating Eastwood's art from his politics problematic; it does, of course, introduce the notion that his best films have a political dimension, disguised under narrative diversions, that are not quite the Universal Truth of Human Experience liberal fans like me flock to when praising the director's films
 Eastwood's skill, honed over a long career, is that he has an instinct for a compelling human story and that he is especially adept at creating a framework where his direction is subtle, nearly invisible .           


He is technically able , but not showy. A strong script and a strong cast is what makes this man an amazing director. He may not be the most nuanced political thinker, but he does appreciate the nuances of emotion and human frailty in times of struggle. We will just have to take what we like and disregard the rest for later reference, I suppose.