J. Edgar Hoover may have savored his tough-guy image as America’s top cop, a rule-bending maverick unrelenting in his pursuit of justice, but Clint Eastwood, whose fascinating biography of the FBI’s first and longest-tenured director opened Wednesday at the Century SF Centre, the AMC Van Ness and the Sundance Kabuki, says there’s no similarity between Hoover and “Dirty” Harry Callahan.
“Harry was a mythical character,” Eastwood says of the rogue San Francisco detective he created in 1971 with director Don Siegel. “He was a man concerned with the rights of victims at a time when everyone was obsessed with the rights of the accused. And his story was very violent.
The inaugural Napa Valley Film Festival opens Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the picturesque communities of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga. A must for cinephiles, foodies and wine lovers alike, the five-day "extended weekend" features a premier selection of independent films and hotly anticipated Oscar contenders, as well as conversations with some of the most exciting actors, directors, producers and writers working in movies today.
To say that critics made Kevin Smith’s career might seem to ascribe too much significance to the whims of a vocal but oft-ignored minority. But to hear Smith tell it, it was New York Times writers Janet Maslin and Dave Kehr whose unreserved praise of his modestly budgeted Clerks (1994) helped put the former convenience-store cashier on Hollywood’s map.
Patricia Clarkson, who stars in the bittersweet romantic drama Cairo Time, earned her first national face time in 1985, appearing in a single episode of TV’s Spenser: For Hire. She went on, three years later, to co-star with Clint Eastwood in his last Dirty Harry movie, The Dead Pool.
But it took her another decade before she discovered the niche that has become her calling card, with the help of The Kids Are All Right director Lisa Cholodenko, a San Francisco State graduate.
Harrison Ford could have retired decades ago, living quite comfortably off the royalties he earned from the first Star Wars trilogy. Instead, he’s holding court in a chilly conference room at the Ritz Carlton, promoting Extraordinary Measures, in which he stars opposite Brendan Fraser as a brilliant but socially maladroit doctor devising a groundbreaking treatment for Pompe disease.
Invictus takes its title from a poem by Britain’s William Ernest Henley, first published in 1875, that Nelson Mandela recited while imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in captivity. It is Latin for “unconquered,” an apt summation of Clint Eastwood’s workmanlike drama about the power of sport to promote unity in post-apartheid South Africa.