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Clint Eastwood film fest comes to State Theater

Four films showcase actor/director
By: Krissi Khokhobashvili, Journal Features Editor
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When you’re planning what to do next weekend, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?”

If the answer is yes, head to the State Theater April 27-29, where the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center presents the Clint Eastwood Film Festival. The festival committee has selected four films to screen, and for $30 fans can enjoy more than eight hours of Eastwood.

“We thought he would be of interest to this community,” said committee member Patti Baker, adding, “Looking at your demographic, he has ap-peal to men and women. He does to this woman, anyway.”

Committee members said a lot of thought went into choosing what films to screen, as the five-time Academy Award-winning actor/director has appeared in more than 70.

“We had a list about a mile long,” said David Tennant, “and then we kept narrowing it down and narrowing it down between all of us.”

The festival starts with “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” Sergio Leone’s tribute to the American Western. In “Dirty Harry,” Eastwood plays a San Francisco cop who must track down a killer before he kills a kidnapped girl. “Play Misty for Me,” Eastwood’s 1971 directorial debut, features Eastwood as a radio deejay who finds himself the subject of a psychopathic stalker.

The series ends with “Gran Torino,” another Eastwood-directed film. He plays a Korean War veteran on a mission to reform his neighbor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal his car.

Although the committee invited Eastwood to appear at the festival, the 81-year-old is currently filming a movie.

The appeal of Eastwood isn’t lost on Lincoln photographer Maggie Mc-Gurk, who has been creating artwork using his image for years. She was a staff photographer for Gray Davis, a friend of Eastwood’s. At a golf tournament, Eastwood  no-ticed that McGurk was holding a camera.

“I smiled at him and said, ‘May I take a photo?’ And he smiled back at me and said ‘A photographer never takes just one,’” McGurk remembered.

But that wasn’t the first time she’d crossed paths with Eastwood. During her college years, while eating at a Mexican restaurant in the Carmel area, she saw the actor. She asked if she could take his picture and he obliged.

“The next thing I know, he’s straddling my legs, sitting face to face with me!” McGurk said. She reminded him years later that he had once sat on her lap, and he replied, “What else did I do?”

McGurk’s signature Eastwood art consists of a picture of the man with a rodent superimposed onto his heart. McGurk saw the critter at Eastwood’s house and was intrigued by the fact that the paper that lined his cage was from the U.S. District Court of Appeals. McGurk makes notecards, postcards, wearable art and tote bags with the Eastwood piece on them, and will be at the festival to display her work.

“I am a fan of him because I think he’s a terrific guy,” McGurk said. “I’ve heard stories about him, how he has always been very nice to people. He owns Mission Ranch, and people tell me that when they have weddings there, if Clint Eastwood is there he goes over and kisses the bride. He’s just a nice guy who’s very down to earth.”

Reach Krissi Khokhobashvili at krissik@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter, @AuburnJournalAE.

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Clint Eastwood Film Festival

When: April 27-29

Where: State Theater, 985 Lincoln Way, Auburn

Cost: $8 per movie; $30 for all four

Tickets: www.livefromauburn.com; (530) 885-0156

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27

“Dirty Harry”: 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28

“Play Misty for Me”: 7 p.m. Saturday, April 28 (sponsored by Sierra Grill Smokehouse)

“Gran Torino”: 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29