Monday, September 24, 2007


Wakened by a full moon last night, I put "Flags of our Fathers" on the TV and spent the next couple of hours admiring Clint Eastwood. I am not sure I admired the movie itself, somewhat slow-moving, as much as its auteur. But it reflected the Eastwood I have come to love briliiantly.

I can never get out of my mind the magnificent triviality of the image of Rowdy Yates from my childhood TV experiences. And then there was the curiosity of the Sergio Leone Eastwood. Even more interesting was the Dirty Harry incarnation, set in, of all places, San Francisco (I lived in the East Bay at that time and found Harry Callaghan a valuable contrarian).

But What Clint Eastwood was revived in my memory by "Flags of your Fathers"? It was the Clint Eastwood of "Bronco Billy" - a movie almost nobody mentions.

There is a conflict between show and reality. There is also the reality that even the modified reality is important. Eastwood is magnificent about ambiguity and uncertain messages. I had not known that the great photo was of a "substitute" flag-raising. And in the end it does not matter, but I can see how "Bronco Billy" would be attracted by the theme.

It was interesting so see the Canadian Adam Beach in the wonderful role as Ira Hayes, whom I knew about from a Johnny Cash song, but nothing else.


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