Clint and Bob, Still Causing a Fuss

Two old heroes of mine have been in the news this week.

Clint Eastwood, who is releasing two new films about the invasion of Iwo Jima in Japan in World War Two--the first movie from the American perspective and the second from the Japanese point of view. The critics are saying that Clint has risen to new heights with these films; some are even calling them masterpieces--and he's nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe for both of them. Way to go, old boy. Clint was always a little better than the average even during his "Hamburger Hill" and "Dead Pool" days, though it was a lot harder to see his good qualities in those (thankfully) far away times. And how interesting that someone associated so closely with the Right--albeit not the dumb-ass Right of George Bush--is making movies that express ambivalence about the glories of war and America's purpose in the world. If that don't tell you we're in changing times, then nothing does.

The other old hero of mine in the news this week was Bob Dylan, who, it's reported, is suing the makers of a new movie about Edie Sedgewick, "Miss Lonely" in "Like a Rolling Stone," because the film suggests a character obviously based on Dylan caused her death. I contacted Dylan's site on MySpace to find out if the story was true, but perhaps not surprisingly, they haven't responded. I always heard "Rolling Stone" as a warning to Edie from Bob about the dangers of associating with the vampiric Warhol set: he's trying to save her by singing those cruel, immortal lines, not kill her. But what do I know.

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