Gran Torino

Cinematic Craft, Social Messages: Eastwood's Directorial Techniques in Gran Torino 10th Grade

Clint Eastwood, the director of the film ‘Gran Torino’, plays and stars as Walt Kowalski, a Korean War veteran and retired autoworker living in a changing society in the 1990’s neighbourhoods of Detroit. This film, informed by a graphic interpretation of racial and gang violence, follows Walt and his transforming relationship with the new and difficult immigrant Hmong family. Gran Torino explores social themes and issues with impact, such as masculinity, racism and redemption. The director utilises a wide assemblage of cinematic techniques in order to explore and illuminate the key ideas, giving his carefully-constructed film a powerful sense of social resonance.

Walt throughout the opening scenes is portrayed as a strongly independent, tough-minded and strong-willed protagonist as the film is able to depict the very prominent theme of masculinity held within Walt, through the mobilisation of camera shots, dialogue, symbolism, non-diegetic sound, and lighting. The “get off my lawn” scene supports the masculinity that Walt displays through the Americanism of protecting his property when conflict between the Hmong gang and family ends in dispute, utilised by symbolism, angle shots, non-diegetic sound and dialogue. The initial...

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