Clint Eastwood: Renaissance Man?

Variety has an article on Clint Eastwood talking about how he has started writing the music for his films, as well as directing them. It's a pretty glowing article with a quote from Eastwood, "You're getting the score you want. A lot of times I will bring in (a composer), but on these last few films, it seems like I just wanted my interpretation (musically)."

I enjoy Clint's older films, those spaghetti Westerns that are so iconic of the genre. His direction in "Million Dollar Baby" was exceptional, truly. But I can't say as I agree with his talents in music.

I've seen "Changling" and while I enjoyed the film, the music was horribly, horribly monotonous. The theme didn't develop, but rather moved from one instrument to the next, droning on and on. Toward the end of the film I practically didn't care if she ever found her kid, just stop playing that theme over and over again. Maybe they changed key occasionally, but that's about the extent of any development.

The film, set in the late 1920's did a wonderful job visually of what LA might have been like. But musically, the theme didn't evoke either a timelessness or anything period sounding. It was jazz like, but the people Clint works with (his son, jazz bassist Kyle Eastwood and guitarist partner Michael Stevens) are jazz oriented, so no surprise there. However, the era was the start of some great jazz themes from which "Changling" failed to borrow or even pastiche. It could have had a modern, small ensemble, giving the film a universal, timeless feeling, but it didn't have that either.

Clint Eastwood is a talented man, of that there is no doubt. However, he really should leave the music composition to composers who can make more of the media.

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