Clint’s instincts always come up tops

Director on political correctness, mentors and a new project.

by Richard Mowe

Clint Eastwood in conversation with critic Kenneth Turan in Cannes
Clint Eastwood in conversation with critic Kenneth Turan in Cannes Photo: Cannes Film Festival

Clint Eastwood, whose craggy features look as if they had been hewn out of rock, came to the Cannes Film Festival today (21 May) to present a 25th anniversary screening of his 1992 Western Unforgiven.

It was screened in the Cannes Classics section followed by a pack encounter at master class in the Buñuel cinema within the Palais des Festivals.

Clint Eastwood:
Clint Eastwood: "Now we are killing ourselves with our obsession with political correctness and we’ve lost our sense of humour.” Photo: Cannes Film Festival

Eastwood, who at 86 is all set prepare his next project which he will direct. He revealed it will be titled The 15:17 To Paris, the true story of three American friends who defeated an attempted terrorist attack on a train bound from Brussels to Paris two years ago.

Part of the discussions uncovered his disquiet over current obsessions with political correctness which he suggests started with his 1971 film Dirty Harry, a violent cop story. “It was far-out for its time but I thought it was interesting and daring. Now we are killing ourselves with our obsession with political correctness and we’ve lost our sense of humour,” he said in conversation with the Los Angeles critic Kenneth Turan.

As a director he paid tribute to two people he described as mentors - Don Siegel who made Dirty Harry, and Sergio Leone from Eastwood’s Western era.

He revealed that his credo was to “rely on my instincts.” “If you have good luck with your instincts then stick them otherwise you can get boxed in.” he added.

After he introduced the screening he had intended to sneak out after five minutes, but instead he became so absorbed he stayed. He admitted “I enjoyed it and appreciated and rediscovered a lot of things I had forgotten.”

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