PostED ON OCTOBER 17
By bestowing the very first Lumiere Award upon Clint Eastwood in 2009, Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Frémaux had chosen a master capable of expressing the great modernity of classic, timeless, enduring cinema, like an entire chapter of our heritage.
This year, Clint Eastwood celebrates his fiftieth anniversary as a filmmaker, directing forty movies in all. Each picture illustrated a different genre, while exuding a sense of reliable certainty. He always knew where he was going. In 1971, he filmed and starred in Play Misty for Me, an edgy, dark and wild thriller, and, as he has done ever since, he cultivated considerable empathy for the real main character, meaning the most vulnerable, and in this case, the bad guy! Marking each decade with key works, Eastwood has perpetually reinvented himself. In 1992, he stunned the world with the fist-clenching Western, Unforgiven. In the process, he wrote the chilling little melody of unmistakable melancholy that runs throughout the film. His character, Bill Munny, adopts the Eastwood style, that of a very dangerous man who takes the trouble to sit silently next to an assaulted girl in order to listen to her distress, acknowledge it, and act.
Eastwood's cinema involves a great deal of listening to others: whoever they are, they must be understood in order to be defended. Because in his films, Eastwood applies the principles of life he believes in, those of a humanist, a protector of individual freedom for a life in harmony with others and with nature. To achieve this, one must start by looking inward. The films directed by Eastwood never cease to deliver implicit, merciless and therefore deeply moving self-portraits of a man who is growing old and heeding his instincts and his body. Cry Macho is the latest testimony to this impressive personal journey. In the film, the character played by Eastwood readily admits that "as you get older in life, you realise that you don't know anything". A sentence that could have been uttered by Bill Munny of Unforgiven, had he been inclined to speak.