Archive for the ‘Richard Sez’ Category

RIP Legendary Film Critic, author and filmmaker Richard Schickle

RIP Richard Schickle. Richard interviewed him on stage about Clint Eastwood and later wrote this for an unfinished book about the best movie lines ever:

“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?” – Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in Dirty Harry, 1971

Before Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood was a star. He worked his way up from playing uncredited characters in b-movie turkeys like 1955’s Revenge of the Creature to supporting roles in everything from a Francis the Talking Mule comedy to a string of westerns and war pictures. Television’s Rawhide made him a household name in America and his trio of spaghetti westerns with Sergio Leone—A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly—made him an international star, but it took an urban vigilante movie to make him a legend.

Loosely based on real life San Francisco police inspector Dave Toschi, one of the investigators of the Zodiac murders, Dirty Harry, is the story of SFPD Inspector Harry Callahan (Eastwood) charged with bringing a serial killer to justice. Callahan lives by his own code of ethics and is unafraid to bend the rules to get the bad guy. He’s generally cool, calm and collected, but he took cool to a whole new level early in the film.

Seeing a bank robbery in progress Callahan approaches the scene without waiting for back up. Pointing his .44 Smith & Wesson Model 29 Magnum revolver in a robber’s face he says the words (written by future Apocalypse Now screenwriter John Milius) that made Clint Eastwood a superstar.

“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

“It’s a very commanding moment,” says former Time critic and Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel. “I mean he’s already a star, there’s no question about that, but in that moment the command of the screen, the command of himself, the strange humour of it, which is a real Clint kind of sense of humour working in that scene, it’s just great. That’s the moment. [After that] there’s no question that this guy is going to be, for a long time a major, major star. So I think in terms of his career, that’s the important line.”

Dirty Harry became Eastwood’s signature role, but it almost didn’t happen. Written for an older man the part was offered to Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra (who had to pass because a wrist injury prevented him from convincingly holding the weighty .44 Magnum). Then it was put forward to Steve McQueen (who turned it down, saying, “I’m only good doing authority my way.”) and Paul Newman who thought it was too right wing for him but suggested Clint.

“Like most pictures that I’ve done I had no idea if anyone would want to see it,” Eastwood says in the documentary The Eastwood Factor (directed by Schickel). “I figured I’d like to see it. If I hadn’t played in it I’d like to see it with somebody else. I just went at it from that angle.”

It was a perfect marriage of character and actor. Jay Cocks of Time wrote that Eastwood gave “his best performance so far, tense, tough, full of implicit identification with his character.” But not all critics liked the movie.

Roger Ebert condemned the film for its “fascist moral position” even though he grudgingly admitted it was well made. Not so with Pauline Kael the doyenne of film criticism. She called Dirty Harry a “right-wing fantasy [that is] a remarkably single-minded attack on liberal values” and labeled it “fascist medievalism.”

“It is suspenseful, it has a moral that I think is very potent, not at all what Pauline Kael thought it was,” argues Schickle. “She’s so full of shit. That woman. I mean, she persisted with that on every movie [Eastwood] made. I think the last one she reviewed was Unforgiven and she didn’t like that. Well crikey, that’s absurd.

“[Dirty Harry] is a movie that gets left off the My Favorite Clint Movies list that people make, but I think it is such a great movie. It holds up beautifully. It is the movie that projected him out of the ranks of stars and into the much smaller rank of superstars.”

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NewsTalk 1010: Richard on Zane Caplansky’s “Let’s Eat” radio show.

Richard sits in on Zane Caplansky’s “Let’s Eat” radio show with Southern Accent restaurant owner Frances Wood to talk about the legendary restaurant’s new location at 839 College Street in Toronto and his days spent working at the original location as a waiter.

Part 1 HERE!

Part 2 HERE!

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: BEHIND THE HEADLINES PANEL FOR WED FEBRUARY 15!

Danica Samuel and Shelley Hamilton join Richard and Beverly Thomson and CTV NewsChannel’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ panel. This week they weigh in on Conway’s credibility, drinking booze at lunch and surveillance in the work place.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: BEHIND THE HEADLINES PANEL FOR WED FEBRUARY 08!

Adrienne Batra and Joshua Ostroff join Richard and Beverly Thomson and CTV NewsChannel’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ panel. This week they weigh in on if Trump is giving Twitter a boost, whether or not are smart homes can be dangerous and funeral selfies!

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Richard hosts “Think Forward” at the Bell TIFF Lightbox!

On March 9, 2017 join us at the Bell TIFF Lightbox and explore the application of 3D technologies, including VR/AR in the creative and cultural industries! In association with legendary photographer Ed Burtynsky, Ryerson University will be presenting their 2nd annual conference on 3D technology in its many fascinating forms.

Think Forward will help guide and support Canadian innovators and creatives to become global leaders in the use of 3D technologies in creative endeavours and to push the boundaries of the possible.

More details HERE!

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Times Colonist: 2017 Victoria Film Festival’s opening night gala!

From Michael Reid’s Times Colonist article on the opening night of the Victoria Film Festival!

“Despite having risen at 3 a.m. Friday, Richard Crouse, the Toronto-based CTV film critic whose connecting flight from Vancouver was cancelled, was in good spirits when he finally arrived at 9:45 p.m. It was an hour after Crouse was scheduled to begin a Q & A with McKellar.

“There’s an inch of snow in Vancouver. It shut down everything so we had a planes, trains, automobiles and ferry trip to get here,” said Crouse.

“The ferry was fantastic. I’d never done it before so it was an adventure.”

Read the whole thing HERE!

CTV NEWSCHANNEL: BEHIND THE HEADLINES PANEL FOR WED FEBRUARY 01!

Jen Zoratti and Joshua Ostroff join Richard and Beverly Thomson and CTV NewsChannel’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ panel. This week they weigh in on Budweiser’s new commercial, ‘Heart & Stroke’ urging for a ban on junk food marketing and whether or not we should remove corporate names from hospitals.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE DARKE HOTEL: OSCARS PARTY 2017 HOSTED BY RICHARD CROUSE

From thedrakehotel.ca: We’re celebrating everyone’s favourite award show with host Richard Crouse in true Drake style. Put on your best threads + play our Oscar pool while cheering on your picks from the silver screen. Don’t want to miss a minute? We’ve got a trophy-worthy prix-fixe that’ll save your spot for the night!

  • Venue: Lounge
  • Type: Live
    Culture
  • Cover: Free | $37 prix-fixe to reserve seating
  • Time: Feb. 26, 2017, 6 p.m.