George Clooney takes viewers inside “The American”

By Sean O’Connell George Clooney can do no wrong in my book. He’s a tremendously charismatic actor who also makes fantastic decisions behind the camera. Yes, even “Leatherheads” worked for me as a loving tribute to 1940s screwball comedy. I just think Clooney knows what projects work for him, which is why I’m extremely excited to see “The American,” which opens everywhere on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

Clooney didn’t direct. Anton Corbijn did. You may know him as the director of the stark Joy Division biopic, “Control.” If not, you’ve no doubt seen one of the photos Corbijn took of famous musicians over the years. He has a distinct eye, and he adores photography. So even if the hook of “The American” doesn’t grab you – with Clooney playing an assassin trying to complete one last job – Corbijn’s images should mystify.

And if you really like them, you may want to pick up a new book that Corbijn put together called “Inside The American.” On Focus’ site, Corbijn blogs, “As with my first feature, CONTROL, where I put the photographs I had taken during the making of the film into a book (‘In Control’), I also put the images I took on the set into a book: INSIDE THE AMERICAN. It consists of more than 100 photographs plus my handwritten notes and some drawings indicating camera positions at certain scenes.

“It is just too difficult to leave my stills camera at home and although there are days that I have absolutely no time to take a single picture on set, there are other days that I take a couple of pictures,” the director continues. “Either of a scene or of something off set. Whatever catches my eye and wherever I have a few spare seconds. Making a film is so incredibly time and emotion consuming that I find it very therapeutic to catalogue this period in my life. And that is why I made this book, for myself. As a visual memory to a deep and new experience.”

I’m anxious to see how deep “The American” gets into Clooney psyche. We’ll find out soon enough.

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