Clint Eastwood turns 90: 5 cult films to watch. On the day of Clint Eastwood’s ninetieth birthday, here are his 5 films to (re) see absolutely.
The mule, 2018
The failure of individualism
Earl Stone, estranged from his long-neglected family, is an eighty-year-old floriculturist victim of the exponential growth of the online market which forced him to close his nursery. Thus, he becomes, somewhat by chance, a drug courier for the Mexican cartel and, in parallel, clumsily tries to remedy the sunset of a life that has remained lacking in solidity because it has no affections.
The economic and social system that feeds on individualism is then put in the spotlight by the former agent Callaghan, highlighting the ephemeral surface that empties itself of content and loses life.
Gran Torino, 2008
The nature of the hero
The real hero is someone who questions himself, without being afraid to overturn the prejudices of a whole life, heading, without looking back, towards a humanity that leaves everyone, both within the film and in front of the screen, with tears in the eyes.
We are in the suburbs of Detroit, in a neighborhood that moves between the delinquency of youth gangs and the new migrant families from Asia. The central theme of the conflict between worlds that seem unable to touch, death and life, America and Asia, good and bad, is a mirror of Walt Kowalski’s internal anxiety.
A convinced patriot, a war veteran, Clint / Walt is “surrounded” on the day of his wife’s funeral by deplorable children and grandchildren that perhaps it would be better if they didn’t exist.
Intolerant, grumpy and full of prejudices even towards the Hmong family who lives in the house next to his, Walt will find himself in a disarming bond with them (will this be his real family?) Giving meaning to his existence.
Mystic River, 2003
The consequences of a violent society
Based on Dennis Lehane’s thriller, he is an insight into America, as well as deep criticism.
The film is set in Boston, notoriously a place of well-being both culturally and economically, only to then move to the margins of society, beyond the Mystic River, where the scenario is completely reversed.
The lives of three young children of the working class will be marked forever by a terrible episode of violence that will leave indelible scars.
After 25 years, the three ex-friends meet again, forced to face another tragic event from different perspectives.
All the brutality of a system of prevarication emerges, of the degradation of the values of the American dream, of the law of the fittest in an individualistic society, in which the initial violence will spread like a curse, in an endless loop.
The bridges of Madison County, 1995
The freedom of women is essential
In this film Clint Eastwood questions the American ethics of the family that “hypnotized the country”, deeply threatening the female identity.
Robert is a photographer for National Geographic, a citizen of the world, very open and independent. For a project on the bridges of Madison County he heads to Iowa, where he meets Francesca – the Oscar winner Meryl Streep – of Italian origins: a frustrated housewife, but devoted to a life and a family that do not exactly correspond to what she had dreamed of as a young man .
The overwhelming encounter between the two outsiders slowly brings out the beauty and contradictions of a woman who regains her freedom, in an oppressive and judgmental society that wants her first wife and mother.
The ruthless, 1992
Inevitably, the western
It all started with this film genre, when Clint Eastwood was still not in charge of directing, but “contented himself” with being the star of the so-called dollar trilogy (For a fistful of dollars, For a few dollars more and The good, the bad , the villain), the three world-famous films directed by Sergio Leone, a fundamental director to whom the ruthless (together with Don Siegel) is dedicated.
The film revolves around the theme of violence, always depicted in westerns as an intrinsic part of man, and the consequences of it on the protagonists, whether they are victims or executioners.