Tuesday, February 6, 2007

February 6th Log

2006, Clint Eastwood, United States
1st Viewing, DVD

Flags of Our Fathers is a film with strong and ambitious intentions. While the filmmaking is again exceptional from Clint Eastwood, there seems to be something lacking in the overall result of this film. I think it lacks some of the sense of mood that Eastwood generally establishes. Even for it’s intelligent and meaningful intentions, Flags of Our Fathers feels dull or without a heartbeat. Eastwood is a great director, but I think he is at his best in the smaller scaled films of emotional doom. He does try to take the epic scale of this World War II film into a more intimate and psychological, but the result is far less inspiring then his greatest work. Eastwood’s technical filmmaking craftsmanship is evident but he is always at the disposal of his scripts and I think that is where some of the problem develops here. Paul Haggis, who co-wrote the screenplay, gives the film a Crash-like treatment in its liberal guilt and most specifically in its lack of simplicity. The film has a valuable historic insight, yet the themes of heroism and the John Ford-esque theory of “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend” is forced upon the audience at every turn. Flags of Our Fathers is far from a bad film, because of Eastwood’s skillful direction and because of the effective staging of the battle sequences.


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