Feature

Dirty Harry vs. Spike Lee

In response to Spike Lee's accusation that Clint Eastwood did not cast any black actors in Flags of Our Fathers, Eastwood told The Guardian, "A guy like him should shut his face." This sounds just like petty "squabbling" from two &#034

What happened
In response to Spike Lee's accusation that Clint Eastwood did not cast any black actors in Flags of Our Fathers, Eastwood told The Guardian, "A guy like him should shut his face." Lee made the criticism at the Cannes film festival last month, saying, "Clint Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total, and there was not one Negro actor on the screen." Eastwood concedes that a detachment of black troops did serve on Iwo Jima, "but they didn't raise the flag. The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that." (The Guardian)

What the commentators said
"Any luck they’ll both shut their faces?" said celebrity tabloid PopCrunch. Here are two "legendary film directors": Eastwood, with credits like Million Dollar Baby and Mystic River, and Lee, director of Inside Man and his own upcoming World War II drama, Miracle at St. Anna. And they are "squabbling" like children!

I didn't think Lee or Eastwood would actually resort to this kind of bickering, said Eugene Novikov on Cinematical. Eastwood claims that Lee also criticized him for making Bird, a Charlie Parker biopic that had a multiracial cast. "That can't be right, I thought," but it's true: While discussing his film Mo' Better Blues, Lee complained that Eastwood and Woody Allen, two white directors, were making jazz films.

As amusing as this "feud fever" is, said Seth Abramovitch on Defamer, we'd "rather see these two talented filmmakers reaching across the grumpy-director divide." Here's a way the two can "settle their differences": They can collaborate on "a two-part political docudrama anthology about the 2008 DNC primary, with Lee's Obama, starring Sean Penn as the junior senator from Illinois, set to release simultaneously with Eastwood's own Hillary, starring S. Epatha Merkerson."

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