Friday, June 6, 2008

Don't Mess With Eastwood


Recently Spike Lee had some harsh things to say about Eastwood's recent film Flags of Our Fathers. While it's probably true that reporters started the discussion by point-blank asking Lee why Eastwood didn't include any black soldiers in the film, Lee's response went over the line:

"He did two films about Iwo Jima back to back and there was not one black soldier in both of those films," Lee said at the Cannes Film Festival. "Many veterans, African-Americans, who survived that war are upset at Clint Eastwood. In his vision of Iwo Jima, Negro soldiers did not exist. Simple as that. I have a different version."

First off, it should be "either" of those films, not "both," if you want the phrase to be correct. Secondly, where are these upset veterans that Lee is talking about? Do they have a website?

During a recent interview with The Guardian, Eastwood had this to say about Spike Lee: "A guy like him should shut his face."

Eastwood then went on to explain further, which is unfortunate, because it would have been awesome if he had left it at that.

Clint pointed out, as others had done on his behalf prior to his response, that no African-American soldiers participated in the flag raising, which was the central issue of the film.

He then talks about his 1988 film Bird, a biopic about jazz musician Charlie Parker. Apparently, Lee criticized this film back when it was released, essentially saying that it was a limited view of a black performer's life as told by a white screenwriter and a white director.

While I'm all for a discussion of the inequality of race in Hollywood (which undeniable exists), there's nothing gained by critiquing individual films at a time, especially if those films are made by Clint Eastwood.

To hopefully satisfy Lee, Eastwood promised that in his forthcoming film about the life of Nelson Mandela, he would keep Morgan Freeman in the lead role and "won't make Nelson Mandela a white guy."

No comments: