Presentation Script Adam Stephenson
The Development of Clint Eastwood Films Over The Past 10 Years
[Audience seated; lights fade out]
Presenter: For most of his career, Clint Eastwood’s career as an actor has overshadowed his accomplishments as a director. With over 30 movies as a director and two Academy Awards for Best Director, Clint Eastwood is one of America’s most prolific and best filmmakers. (item 10)
[Video Clip] Million Dollar Baby Trailer (item 12)
[Video Clip] Gran Torino Trailer (item 11)
[Video Clip] Changeling Trailer (item 13)
Integrated into one solid clip.
[Lights fade on]
Presenter: Today we are going to discuss the development of Clint Eastwood’s films that he has directed, doing this we will investigate the Themes and Styles that he includes throughout these. To help us do this I will be using three of his finest pieces of work within the last 10 years. The focus film will be ‘Gran Torino’ (2008) and the two supporting films are ‘Million Dollar Baby’ (2005), ‘Changeling’ (2008) as my reference points.
Gran Torino is about a racist Korean War veteran living in a crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood who is forced to confront his own lingering prejudice when a troubled Hmong teen from his neighborhood attempts to steal his prized Gran Torino.
Million Dollar Baby stars Clint as a veteran boxing trainer who finds a woman pestering him to take her on, after saying no he isn't afraid to tell her why: he doesn't think much of women boxing, she's too old at 31, she lacks experience, and has no technique. However won over by determination he gives her a shot.
Changeling stars Angelina Jolie as a woman who is reunited with her missing son—only to realize he is an impostor. She confronts the city authorities, who vilify her as an unfit mother and brand her delusional.
Flip chart: The ways in which Clint Eastwood’s directed films develop from each one over the past 10 years, here are the focus points that we will talk about.
Films he wants to tell
[Presenter points to the first one, themes]
Presenter: To begin this topic I would like to point out the themes that Clint includes in his films as a director. If one thing is apparent, at least to those who’ve been following Clint Eastwood's career in recent years, it is that he’s taken a different approach lately as a director. Instead of taking big well-rounded splatter shots at Oscars, as was the case with Million Dollar Baby and Letters from Iwo Jima, he has taken to a more targeted approach. This trend was very apparent in Changeling. Eastwood made a solid, but relatively one-dimensional film that was tweaked just enough to be a serious Oscar grab for Angelina Jolie. And had Jolie’s Oscar grabbiness not been so blatant, it might have worked. We see a similar theme with Gran Torino, in which Eastwood plays on both sides of the camera as director and as Walt Kowalski, Walt is a staunch racist. We are talking blatant, irreverent and uncompromising racism here. Yet somehow it is still very tastefully done, only Clint can make that happen. (item14)
[Video Clip] Interview with Clint, the producer and the Hmong cast (item 15)
[Lights fade on]
Presenter: The themes that Clint uses within his directed films that we are studying today mainly include Fatherhood/Motherhood attributes, in Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino it is Clint himself that takes on this role. However in the Changeling Angelina Jolie is the actress that addresses to this.
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[Lights fade on]
Presenter: These three films are all Dramas, he uses the typical conventions in these such as; emotional, illness and failed romance/friendship. At this point in his career, when Clint Eastwood stars in and directs a film, all bets are off. Things that would be old school and sentimental in other hands morph into something different when he is involved. If Tina Turner's motto is that she doesn't do anything nice and easy, Eastwood's would be that the ordinary is just not his style. Which brings us to "Gran Torino," Eastwood's second directing project this fall, his first work as an actor since "Million Dollar Baby" and a film that would be less interesting if he were not involved. Working from a script by first-time screenwriter Nick Schenk, Eastwood has, with his impeccable directing style and acting presence, turned "Gran Torino" into another in his ongoing series of films that ponder violence, its place and its cost. It combines sentiment and shootouts, the serious and the studio, in a way that has become distinctly Eastwood's own. (item 6)
Flip chart: Points at-Films he wants to tell
[Projector] Showing Total Film article and The Times Playlist (Items 7 and 9)
Presenter: Points at these, In his most recent films Clint is beginning to make films that are close to him and make an impact on the audience, we see in Gran Torino he is trying to capture the audiences attention to race he does this by producing a racist film making himself seem bad but yet the viewers are still on his side, throughout the film as he slowly becomes warm to them so do we. This is to give a message out about racism. In Million Dollar Baby it’s a sexist message and yet again he get the audience on his side. Changeling is slightly different as its about child abduction and police betrayal which is always close to anybody’s heart.
Points at Sight and Sound (Item 8)
This is a prime example of the passion that Clint Eastwood puts into his directing, he proves that to him it isn't about the money but what people want to see. By doing this he is showing to us that he knows the film industry more than most others and its getting nominated for films that companies didn't believe in and didn't want to promote.
[Lights fade on]
Flip chart: Points at-Success
Presenter: The success of "Gran Torino" could boost Eastwood's awards chances. The film was largely overlooked by the Globes, but the Oscars have long supported Eastwood's directorial efforts and awarded his "Million Dollar Baby" best picture in 2005. Item 17
In 1990 Clint directed the film 'The Rookie' the domestic total gross for the film was $21m, True Crime in 1999 made $16m. When we look at the totals for our 3 films..
Projector: Item 16
Presenter:.. We see the dramatic increase; Gran Torino is his most prolific piece of Directing work making $148m at the box office. From this it also seems that the films Clint stars in himself have a higher gross total, this could be due to the big name actor. It attracts both Clint actor fans and his directing fans producing a wider target audience witch equals to higher success.
Presenter: To round up these three talking points that we have reviewed we can see the changes in which Clint Eastwood has made within the past 10 years of his directing career.
Projector: action shots of the films in the background as presenter is talking. Item 18
Presenter: We have established that he now mainly concentrates on telling story’s that mean something to him. He is no longer releasing them in a bid to get them on the screens as soon as possible to make as much money as he can. The films that he is now producing now are proving to be his biggest successes at the box office. Also we have seen proof that the films he directs and also stars in are making much more money due to his fans on both sides.