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Monday, August 16, 2010

In Detroit

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We finally watched Gran Torino last night, Clint Eastwood's 2008 film, set in Highland Park, a suburb of Detroit where Walt (Eastwood) lives, a retired Ford factory worker. It reflects the changes happening in urban areas worldwide, where people are migrating from their homes to new homes in foreign places. It is about figuring out who you are, what you want. This is not a movie review, but a small notice about a tender film that touched me deeply. It's hard enough to understand yourself, let alone another person. Mix into that another culture, and it takes a great deal of listening and walking in another's shoes to begin to see. I watched more movies this weekend than I have in many months, another was The Fog of War, an amazing and also tender film, a documentary that touched me at my center. Robert McNamara emotes, and expresses in hindsight why we should not kill people and destroy nations, for how do we begin to understand one another -- enough to talk, let alone annihilate the other?

Anyway, when Gran Torino was over, and the credits rolled, and this song came on, the first of the film, it was one of those moments when characters and plot came together in perfect emotional release, and satisfaction. Please have a listen to this beautiful song written by Clint Eastwood, Jamie Cullum, Kyle Eastwood and Michael Stevens. Embedding of the YouTube video has been disabled, so you'll need to click here for it.


Gran Torino

[*Sung By Clint Eastwood*]
So tenderly your story is
nothing more than what you see
or what you've done or will become
standing strong do you belong
in your skin; just wondering

gentle now the tender breeze blows
whispers through my Gran Torino
whistling another tired song

engine humms and bitter dreams grow
heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long

[*sung by Jamie Cullum*]
Realign all the stars above my head
Warning signs travel far
I drink instead on my own Oh! how I've known
the battle scars and worn out beds

gentle now a tender breeze blows
whispers through a Gran Torino
whistling another tired song

engines humm and bitter dreams grow
heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long

these streets are old they shine
with the things I've known
and breaks through the trees
their sparkling

your world is nothing more than all the tiny things you've left behind

So tenderly your story is
nothing more than what you see
or what you've done or will become
standing strong do you belong
in your skin; just wondering

gentle now a tender breeze blows
whispers through the Gran Torino
whistling another tired song
engines humm and bitter dreams grow
a heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long

may I be so bold and stay
I need someone to hold
that shudders my skin
their sparkling

your world is nothing more than all the tiny things you've left behind

so realign all the stars above my head
warning signs travel far
i drink instead on my own oh how ive known
the battle scars and worn out beds

gentle now a tender breeze blows
whispers through the Gran Torino
whistling another tired song
engines humm and better dreams grow
heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
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49 comments:

João said...

"your world is nothing more than all the tiny things you've left behind"

Our world now is also this tiny things we post. Hello, Neighbor.

Bonnie said...

Lovely ... "...do you belong in your skin; just wondering".

I have seen this movie on our cable channel and although I am impressed with Eastwood's multiple talents and his body of work, I assumed it was a violent sort of flick. I should have known better based on the tender films he has authored, produced and directed of late. I will now look forward to seeing this.

Even his old raspy voice is sweet and laden with the implications of all that goes unspoken.

willow said...

I love Clint Eastwood. I remember doing one of those online survey things when the internet was new. It matched you with a star you were most romantically compatible with. Mine was Eastwood.

He sings Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive the album, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I agree with Bonnie on his raspy, sweet voice.

I'm adding the movie to my queue.

Sandy said...

i loved that movie and watched it several times about Christmas when I was sick with the flu. I don't normally watch movies "On Demand" and was so taken with the movie I watched it a few more times.

Brenda said...

I loved this movie so much I bought it. The song really ties it all together. Now I will look for The Fog of War. It sounds like one I would enjoy watching.

deb said...

I will listen .
I heard this was a good movie. It's on "the list" . Moved up the line now thanks.

I do love Clint Eastwood. Although he always reminds of one of the first dates I had with hubby. He wasn't really the planned outing type so when he said we should go to a drive -in I promptly made a little picnic of ricotta stuffed chicken breasts, chocolate dipped strawberries etc.
The movie was Dirty Harry. I couldn't believe it.
I think it was the beginning of a wonderful life.
Because isn't this just the way of things. Him wanting to bring me into his circle ,me wanting to bring him into mine.
Admittedly there was some snark on my part,
but he took it well. :)

Mrs. SwedeHart said...

Coffee... I took Swede and his father, Woody, to see this one. As soon as I watched the first few seconds of the trailer, I knew I had to take them. Clint's character is SWEDE - a curmudgeon with a tender heart inside reserved for only a precious few. Of course, my little curmudgeon was a grump the whole way to the theatre, because he didn't want to see it... that changed very quickly once the movie started. It is now one of his favorites!

Char said...

it is embedded in me to watch every clint eastwood movie ever made as he was my father's favorite. his later work always brings a lump to my throat.

♥ Kathy said...

That top picture is amazing! I ♥ Clint Eastwood movies :)

cathyswatercolors said...

I cried when I saw that movie! Clint Eastwood's character reminded me of my father. In fact when my sister went to see it with her son in law Julio, she said, you just met my dad.

The Bug said...

Lovely song - I remember Eastwood singing on the Midnight sound track, but I also remember an older movie where he played a washed up country singer. I may have been the only person in the US to like that movie :)

So now I guess I have to watch THIS movie. We'll see - Dr. M & I don't watch movies much, what with baseball and all. Maybe after the World Series.

Babs-beetle said...

I will have to come back tomorrow to listen to the track. It's late here and Mo is watching a movie.

I was never a fan of Clint Eastwood. I didn't like the fact that no matter how old he got, he was always shown with young girls. Something that I feel strongly about is the one sided age issue in the movie world. If they've finally admitted that he is too old to be shown in bed with a young girl, I may well watch this one ;)

Sorry for the rant :)

ds said...

Who could have guessed that Dirty Harry would be able to invoke the same (gravelly) poignant nostalgia as Satchmo or Ray Charles (a little bit Willie Nelson, too)? But then, he is the guy who read Yeats to Hilary Swank.
Thanks for this. It is one that sticks.

C.M. Jackson said...

Mr Jackson is an Eastwood fan so we watched this as soon as it hit dvd rentals--clint was amazing as always..NPR had a bit about Detroit --about Compuware and a number of corporations choosing the city--here's hoping that this city's rebirth will continue-best c

rauf said...

Clint Eastwood is special to me Ruth, and he is special to the people of Chennai. He is in fact very popular in India. i still remember young Eastwood in is first directional venture, 'Play Misty for me' for the first time i saw Malpaso films, if i remember right. He was not known for his acting talent but as a director his total control surprised me.

The song is beautiful Ruth, i'll try to get this movie, never heard of it.

Susan said...

Oh, Ruthie! This movie was such a good one. Clint Eastwood came into his own when he began directing. He always gets it right. I need to watch this again, because the first time I saw it was on the i-Touch and a 1 1/2 by 2-inch screen just doesn't do it justice. The words just go right through you, don't they? Did you know that Clint has written most of the scores of the movies he has directed? Check the credits.

Oh my, my veri word is: thebooks.

Ruth said...

Hi, neighbor João. I've been thinking about that line since I read the lyrics, whether I feel it's true. It's part of the truth, I think.

Ruth said...

Bonnie, there is implicit violence, and a bit on screen, but it didn't not bother me. I hope the same is true from you and that you will enjoy it as I did. Eastwood has a beautiful sense of the world, it seems.

Ruth said...

willow, I didn't realize he had recorded those songs. It's funny, when we "know" someone, as we know him, his singing is special. At the end of this film, it took my breath away. What a crusty, sensitive guy.

Ruth said...

Sandy, oh I'm glad you felt the same (but so sorry about the flu then).

Ruth said...

Brenda, I'm glad you loved this film too. I hope you like The Fog of War as I did. I've had it sitting here forever. Sometimes it takes me a while to watch the documentaries I queue. But this had me rapt from start to finish. And many tears shed.

Ruth said...

Deb. In your short and compact comment you have summed up yin and yang, male and female, masculine and feminine, give and take. What a relationship between a man and a woman can be like. Precious.

Ruth said...

Oh, Rachel, I didn't know Swede is a curmudgeon. In every photo I've seen of him, he looks so happy! I like getting to know him a little more as a result of this post. When, oh when, will I meet him? I still think of that time you and he came to my office to meet me, and I was, alas, in Ireland. :(

Jeanie said...

Thank you, Ruth, for this wonderful post introducing people to a film I hope they discover. I saw this with some trepidation around pre-Oscar nomination time, thinking it could be a little more violent and edgy than the films I generally like. I should have known better -- it was a beautifully crafted film and you can't leave the theatre and return to your life without it popping up in your conversation or thoughts. Beautifully done.

Jeanie said...

I had to post again, because my verification word is "mantrap" for that last comment. And I loved that one!

Terresa said...

Oh, I haven't seen Gran Torino yet, but heard very good things about it. My movie list is growing, but I'm definitely adding that one to it. Just watched Zombieland the other night. It was surprisingly hilariously good (but, keep in mind, I am easily entertained).

RoSe said...

I really was surprised by how much this movie affected me when i rented the DVD a while back, AND I recently went to see Jamie Cullum in concert for the second time, amazing artist...so i next will listen to the song.

Ruth said...

Char, it touches me that you watch Eastwood's films partly because your dad loved him. Eastwood really does have a beautiful take on life, the way he releases that in a film anyway is something powerful.

Ruth said...

Thank you, ♥ Kathy! Don and I went to the auto show in Detroit one year and then drove across the Ambassador bridge into Windsor, where the photo was shot.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I wonder if your dad was as much of a curmudgeon as Walt was? I was very glad Eastwood chose that part of Detroit's passing culture to focus a film on.

Ruth said...

Dana, I don't know that one, about the washed up singer. I know my MIL hated Unforgiven, but I never saw it.

So. I just met your husband at his blog, after you sent us over there. History professor and baseball fan. The two of you make a fun pair.

Ruth said...

My dear Babs, don't be sorry for the rant. I intensely dislike that same trick of Hollywood. I get mental blocks against certain film stars and makers too. Well at least Eastwood made that beautiful Bridges of Madison County with Meryl Streep as his love interest, right?

Ruth said...

DS, how did that spaghetti cowboy get here? It's a journey I've enjoyed watching. I still like watching those old Westerns, especially The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I guess his voice got gravelly with all those cigarettes, 'cause he sure didn't talk much.

Marcie said...

Truly powerful movie..one whose message has stayed with me for a long time. Probably my favorite of all 'Clint Eastwood' films. And - I love that closing song!!!

Brian Miller said...

it really is a wonderful movie...and to see his transformation over time...is inspiring...and love the song...thanks for sharing the lyrics...

Helena said...

I loved the movie and I've always loved Clint Eastwood! And the song is beautiful.

Ruth said...

Ms. Jackson, I wish I had all the money in the world so I could revive Detroit by investing. I hope it will get better and better. In its day, it was really something. I was just talking today with one of my students about the world's largest used bookstore in Detroit: John K. King Used & Rare Books

Ruth said...

Oh dear, rauf, you have revived a very mischievous and regretful memory about Play Misty for Me. I shouldn't even tell you. I was young, a teenager, and I called a local DJ and whispered in a low voice, Play Misty for me, and he freaked out. How terrible is that??? The things young people will do for kicks, including me, Miss Goody 2 Shoes. :|

Ruth said...

Susie Q, I didn't know about the music scores, but now that I know what I know about Gran Torino, I believe it. He's quite a guy. At our commencement this year, a woman spoke who started a business with him (he was a colleague of her husband's) in a line of golf clothing for women. Once Mayor of Carmel . . . what else does he do?

Ruth said...

Jeanie, you raise a point about marketing movies that must be a very tricky prospect. Don't you dislike it when you see a movie preview and you feel you've seen the entire story start to finish? On the other hand, if a film is misrepresented, then the wrong people will see it, or not see it, as seems to be the case for this film, if the comments here are an indication.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, is Mantrap a movie?

Ruth said...

Well, Terresa, I have never heard of Zombieland. I am utterly out of touch with movie news, and most news these days. It's pitiful really. I'll take your recommendation into consideration. It might get added to our movie queue, which at the rate we're going (with the exception of last weekend) will take us a year to get through, and there aren't that many movies on it. :|

Ruth said...

RoSe, before I started youtubing this song, I wasn't familiar with Jamie Cullum, and I was surprised at how young he is. Also, at least two of the top songs I listened to besides Gran Torino were from movie soundtracks. That's pretty great success.

Ruth said...

Yay, Marcie. There is a lot in it, lessons that teach a lot of different things. I love the relationship between Walt and Sue. There is stuff about ageism, which means a lot to me.

Ruth said...

Brian, I'm so pleased you and many others here enjoyed this film too. The song was so appealing that I think I listened at least 20 times the day I posted this.

Ruth said...

Helena, another vote . . . Yay!

Pat said...

I enjoyed the movie, too. It was great to see him change his way of thinking over the course of the movie. But it was a sad ending. I don't remember the song at the end. Thanks for sharing that.

Oliag said...

I love a movie that touches me like that...this one is already on my Netflix list but will be moved up closer to the top:)...I haven't gotten my Netflix money's worth this summer...just haven't been watching enough movies....Love Clint Eastwoods more recent movies...especially the ones he directs...and I have found it interesting that he writes many of his own scores...he is quite a musican..
You might be interested in this link to him talking about how he started writing music...

Ginnie said...

I feel very fortuntae to have this movie in my personal library, Ruth. Astrid and I have both seen it but not together. One of these days soon we will take it out and be reminded of why we love it so much.