tribeca tent

Yorkshire Girl and I were lucky enough to attend the Clint Eastwood installment of the Director’s Series at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. After the theatrical premiere of the new documentary Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story, which discussed Eastwood as a director, a Q&A was held immediately afterward with Mr. Eastwood, which was moderated by director Darren Aronofsky.

tribeca logoWhy they chose to have Aronofsky question Eastwood is a question worth asking, as opposed to someone like Richard Schickel, director of The Untold Story, who is a friend of Eastwood’s, is very knowledgable about him, and was actually present at the screening; in fact, he introduced the film.

Aronofksy seemed to come off as a casual fan of Eastwood the director, like most who only cite Eastwood as a director 1992’s Unforgiven onward, with Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby as more recent examples. In this humble Podwit’s opinion, if you have the opportunity to chat with a legend like Eastwood, why not ask him about stuff that is usually not asked about, like the earlier films he’s directed? Like his feelings now about his 1971 directorial debut Play Misty For Me (which 1987’s Fatal Attraction was a remake of, to all intents and purposes); or 1973’s Breezy, starring William Holden, a film unlike any other Eastwood ever made, almost a retelling of Lolita; or even The Eiger Sanction, an excellent film in which he starred, directed, and did his own stunts, including the then-45-year-old climbing the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland.

Aronofsky did ask some good questions, most of which Eastwood has answered in the past, but they did get into some new areas. Eastwood discussed Sergio Leone as a director and his experience with him, and the influence of Akira Kurosawa’s 1961 film Yojimbo on A Fistful of Dollars and the “spaghetti trilogy”. He also discussed his craft in terms of preparing to shoot a scene, using actors (particularly child actors), and his preference to not use the words “Action” or “Cut” Clint and Darrenwhile shooting.

I just wish someone a tad more knowledgable on Eastwood’s catalog had asked the questions, ones other than just “tell us about The Good, the Bad & the Ugly.” And please don’t take this as a jab at Aronofsky as a director; I think he’s extremely talented (and I think his 2008 film The Wrestler was one of the best of that year). I just wish someone like Schickel handled the Q&A.

But don’t get me wrong: the interview is a must-see and can be watched here courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival. So go, watch, and learn something!

empty chairs

And here is the upcoming Clint Eastwood box set, which also includes Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story.