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Clint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker At Work

Clint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker at Work Review

Clint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker at WorkClint Eastwood: Master Filmmaker at Work by Michael R. Goldman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

For years now Clint Eastwood has ranked as my favourite American Filmmaker. When I saw this large portrait of Mr Eastwood staring at me from the display at my local library I immediately grabbed it (despite it’s heft and the challenges that gives me transporting it from the library by that’s an aside).

The many anecdotes throughout the volume were wonderful glimpses into Clint Eastwood the filmmaker, and Clint Eastwood the man. I’d recommend the book for those reasons alone as the writers of the book interviewed over sixty cast and crew who have worked with him over the past 40 years, and they’ve organized the chapters into distinct filmmaking domains which I enjoyed.

I didn’t give the book more stars though, due to a few weaknesses. It is coffee table sized, in order to show off the tremendous still photographs, however it felt like the stills chosen did not encompass the entire history of Eastwood’s work, nor were they necessarily even related at all to what was being discussed near them. Most of the pictures were from four or five of his films — perhaps it was a rights issue with the pictures, or some technical matter but it was a weakness I felt. Most of the chapters did not conclude well. I often had to double check I didn’t skip a page or miss a paragraph somewhere. And finally the design of the ‘sidebars’ took me out of the flow as well, the smaller font and the disjointedness of how they were chosen to be separated from the main body was unclear. Oh, and personally I wanted more on Changeling, just because I followed a lot of that production closely from another source.

Biographically there was very little, but I’m now tempted to dip into that well of material that’s already been published and see what more I can learn about the man himself.

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Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared now available on Netflix Canada

Two superb, under-appreciated, TV comedies from over a decade ago are now available on Netflix Canada and I recommend you watch them now.

Freaks and Geeks ran for most of a season in 1999-2000 and right from the opening credits with Joan Jett wailing out Bad Reputation I was hooked on the equally awkward Sam and his gaggle of geeks and the rebellious Lindsay going her own way with the fearless Freaks.  Half the main cast of teens have gone on to further stardom, thanks to their association with Judd Apatow, so that’s another reason to check out this series and see them ‘before they were stars’.

Undeclared was a 2001 follow-up from most of the creative team and a few of the actors heading off to college for the first time where Steve (Jay Baruchel) tries to re-invent himself and navigate the strange social landscape of being a Freshman.  Please note, you probably want to watch the episodes in this order, and not the order they are listed on Netflix.  Somehow Netflix knew to jump ahead to Episode 9 to be played 2nd, but after that you have to manually select the order they are played in.