SitM loves Clint Eastwood because of the way his art has evolved. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he says little, preferring to let his art do his talking for him. First making his mark in Hollywood in a string of shoot-em-up spaghetti Westerns, he revisited the genre a few decades later in “Unforgiven”. Rather than do the talk show circuit spewing about how he had changed in the interim, Eastwood instead crafted the movie to adopt a different tone, starting in the first scene as his all-too-human character, William Munny, turned down an opportunity to go for a bounty saying, “I ain’t like that anymore, Kid” while failing to wrestle a hog and having a difficult time mounting his horse in his middle age.
Eastwood also makes political statements, subtly, again never stating his views in interviews, choosing to influence the audience with his art. “Million Dollar Baby”, a strong pro death with dignity movie, was released before the climax of the Terry Schiavo case. “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” were released in the midst of the second Iraq War.
It’s remarkable that Eastwood, bucking the overwhelming trend, is able to get better and better as he gets older.