Here's an excerpt from a HotAir.com post titled "Just how wrong did the media get Clint Eastwood?"
"Admittedly, I am late to evaluating Clint Eastwood’s RNC performance. However, the fact that the pundit class is still critiquing it days later is one indicator of how shrewd it was as political theater. Accordingly, it is worth noting just how wrong some of the Eastwood analysis has been, even from those defending the speech.
The harsh, conventional wisdom about Eastwood’s decidedly unconventional approach to the convention is that it was the ramblings of a senile old man. Even may of Eastwood’s defenders have described it as rambling. This likely makes Eastwood’s day.
After all, who is Clint Eastwood? He is one of the top actors, directors and producers of motion pictures in the world. Most of the world — and almost certainly everyone tuning in to the RNC Thursday night — knows this. Yet most of the analyses of his RNC appearance are based on the notion that we were not witnessing acting. That mass suspension of disbelief may be the highest tribute Eastwood will ever be paid as an actor. If you think the Eastwood on stage was the only Eastwood there is, watch him promoting J. Edgar on The Daily Show last November. I have little doubt he will be equally sharp promoting Trouble With the Curve in the next few weeks.
Moreover, as a director, Eastwood has a reputation of knowing exactly what he wants. Also, he does not prefer to do many takes: “The big question, for me, is how to do it *** so the actors can perform at their very best and with the spontaneity that you’d like to find so that the audience will feel like those lines have been said for the very first time, ever. Then you’ve got a believable scene.” That approach is entirely consistent with Eastwood’s talent as a jazz pianist, someone who enjoys improvising within a framework. The fact that Eastwood’s performance was not loaded into a teleprompter does not mean it was unplanned.
If you doubt that Eastwood was not simply winging it, don’t watch his performance — read the transcript. There may be no better indicator of just how intentional Eastwood’s performance is than to compare the visual impression he gave with the text delivered.
Eastwood begins with a touch of Admiral James Stockdale, but Clint answers the question of why he is there. The fact is that everyone really knows why Clint is there — to make a political statement. But Eastwood, in mentioning that Hollywood is perhaps not as monolithic as the stereotype suggests, is making a subtle suggestion to the audience he wants to reach: you may be part of some left-identifying group, but it’s okay to disagree and there may be other quiet dissenters in your group.
Eastwood then introduces the dramatic device of the empty chair, which in this context also echoes the political metaphor of the empty suit. This has been remarked upon, particularly as an echo of comedic dialogs from people like Bob Newhart, so I won’t dwell on it here, although it reappears below."
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