Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Flag of My Father

Variety has given Clint Eastwood's 'Flags of Our Fathers' an excellent review and I am glad! The flag that the Marines raised on Iwo Jima was, also, the flag of my father, a WWII Navy Seabee. So, from a personal point of view, I see Eastwood's movie as a tribute to my father.

Thanks Clint.

Thanks Dad.

From the review:

Ambitiously tackling his biggest canvas to date, Clint Eastwood continues to defy and triumph over the customary expectations for a film career in "Flags of Our Fathers." A pointed exploration of heroism -- in its actual and in its trumped-up, officially useful forms -- the picture welds a powerful account of the battle of Iwo Jima, the bloodiest single engagement the United States fought in World War II, with an ironic and ultimately sad look at its aftermath for three key survivors. This domestic Paramount release looks to parlay critical acclaim and its director's ever-increasing eminence into strong B.O. returns through the autumn and probably beyond.

Conventional wisdom suggests directors slow down as they reach a certain age (Eastwood is now 76), become more cautious, recycle old ideas, fall out of step with contemporary tastes, look a bit stodgy. Eastwood has impertinently ignored these options not only by undertaking by far his most expensive and logistically daunting picture, but by creating back-to-back bookend features offering contrasting perspectives on the same topic; the Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima," showing the Japanese side in intimate terms, will be released by Warner Bros. next year.

One way to think about "Flags" is as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" of this generation. That 1962 John Ford Western is famous for its central maxim, "When the truth becomes legend, print the legend," and "Flags" resonantly holds the notion up to the light. It is also a film about the so-called Greatest Generation that considers why its members are, or were, reticent to speak much about what they did in the war, to boast or consider themselves heroes.

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