Tuesday, May 20, 2014

5 Similarities Between the Directing Careers of Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood

I. Prince of Darkness DPs
     A. Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood's best shot films are by the 2 American directors of photography known as "The Prince of Darkness" for shooting high key scenes and creating shadowy spaces where characters immerse. Gordon Willis earned his moniker on Klute (1971, Alan J Pakula) and The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola). Willis worked with Woody Allen on 8 films from Annie Hall (1977) to The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Bruce Surtees shot 8 films directed by Clint Eastwood from Play Misty for Me (1971) to Pale Rider (1985).
     B. So both DPs did 8 films with the respective directors.
     C. Both DPs last film in collaboration with the respective directors was in 1985.

II. Albino Girlfriends Slash Leading Ladies
     A. These dudes both had blonde girlfriends and featured them in their movies. Mia Farrow appeared in 12 of Allen's films from A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy (1982) through Husbands and Wives (1992). Sondra Locke acted in 4 films directed by Eastwood from The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) to Sudden Impact (1983) and costarred in both of his films with the orangutan.
     B. Neither men were ever married to their leading ladies, but they both had relationships lasting about a decade on and off screen.
     C. Farrow supposedly has translucent alabaster magic skin and Locke isn't really an albino but I have a friend who'd always called her that and it was convenient.

III. The 90s meant it was time to share the limelight.
     A. Both Allen and Eastwood were actors before they directed. Both typically acted in their own films and received top billing while rarely costarring with big stars (saved money no doubt?). 1991 Shadows and Fog included Madonna, Jodie Foster, Kathy Bates a year after Misery, and John Cusack. Allen wouldn't be as relevant if he didn't start throwing in the stars. 1992 Unforgiven co-stars Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris. Academy Awards for best picture, best director, and Gene Hackman that year signifies the shift where Eastwood begins casting big stars and winning a shitload of Oscars for them.

IV. They began directing the same year.
     A. Allen and Eastwood both directed their first films in the same year. 1971 Bananas 1971 Play Misty for Me
 V. Both dudes really dig jazz but I don't so I'm going to leave it at that.

 What's the point of these comparisons? Nothing. There isn't one. If I actually thought this was important I'd be delusional and insane. But I have spent a huge amount of time watching all the films directed by these two American actor-directors and I think that historically both of their careers are important because they seem to pursue projects that they believe in even if they seem risky financially. Allen being a writer and Eastwood being a producer may have different effects on the pictures, but each work creatively on assembling the projects they'll be delivering.
 Plus I wanted to write something other than a movie review.

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