Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “Tony Scott

True Romance – Poster Art

“Coming up with a concept for a movie like True Romance, that I have been a huge fan of for years and is among my favourite Tony Scott films of all time, wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be when I first got the proposal. There are so many brilliant quotes, memorable scenes and a mind-blowing soundtrack on top of it all. The Hawaiian shirted Cupid I went with, symbolizing the bizarre romance between Alabama and Clarence, came to me as a revelation and I felt I had a winner. I desperately wanted to not only catch the mood of the film, but also include as many characters as I could possibly fit. I love every single performance from the movie and I felt like everyone deserved a tribute.” – Grzegorz “GABZ” Domaradzki

true_romance_losangelestrue_romance_detroit


Ridley Scott – Part 1

Sir Ridley Scott (born 30 November 1937) is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include ‘Alien’ (1979), ‘Blade Runner’ (1982), ‘Thelma & Louise’ (1991), ‘G. I. Jane’ (1997), ‘Gladiator’ (2000), ‘Black Hawk Down’ (2001), ‘Hannibal’ (2001), ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ (2005), ‘American Gangster’ (2007), ‘Body of Lies’ (2008), and ‘Robin Hood’ (2010).

Scott was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, England, the son of Elizabeth and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. He was raised in an Army family, meaning that for most of his early life, his father — an officer in the Royal Engineers — was absent.

He went on to study at the Royal College of Art where he contributed to the college magazine, ARK, and helped to establish its film department. For his final show, he made a black and white short film, ‘Boy and Bicycle’, starring his younger brother, Tony Scott, and his father. The film’s main visual elements would become features of Scott’s later work; it was issued on the ‘Extras’ section of The Duellists DVD. After graduation in 1963, he secured a job as a trainee set designer with the BBC, leading to work on the popular television police series ‘Z-Cars’ and the science fiction series ‘Out of the Unknown’. Scott was an admirer of Stanley Kubrick early in his development as a director.

He was assigned to design the second Doctor Who serial, ‘The Daleks’, which would have entailed realising the famous alien creatures. Working with Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson and Hugh Johnson at RSA during the 1970s, Scott made television commercials in the UK including most notably the popular 1974 Hovis advert, “Bike Round” (New World Symphony), which was filmed in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

‘The Duellists’ (1977) was Ridley Scott’s first feature film. It was produced in Europe and won a Best Debut Film medal at the Cannes Film Festival but made limited commercial impact in the US. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, it featured two French Hussar officers, D’Hubert and Feraud (played by Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel). Their quarrel over an initially minor incident turns into a bitter, long-drawn out feud over the following fifteen years, interwoven with the larger conflict that provides its backdrop. The film was lauded for its historically authentic portrayal of Napoleonic uniforms and military conduct (often compared to the Stanley Kubrick film, ‘Barry Lyndon’), as well as its accurate early-19th-century fencing techniques recreated by fight choreographer William Hobbs. 

Scott’s box office disappointment with The Duellists was compounded by the success received by Alan Parker with American-backed films — Scott admitted he was “ill for a week” with envy. Scott had originally planned to next adapt a version of Tristan and Iseult, but after seeing ‘Star Wars’, he became convinced of the potential of large scale, effects-driven films. He therefore accepted the job of directing ‘Alien’, the ground-breaking 1979 horror/science-fiction film that would give him international recognition.

While Scott would not direct the three Alien sequels, the female action hero Ellen Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver), introduced in the first film, would become a cinematic icon. Scott was involved in the 2003 restoration and re-release of the film including media interviews for its promotion. At this time Scott indicated that he had been in discussions to make the fifth and final film in the Alien franchise. However, in a 2006 interview, the director remarked that he had been unhappy about Alien: The Director’s Cut, feeling that the original was “pretty flawless” and that the additions were merely a marketing tool.

After a year working on the film adaptation of ‘Dune’, and following the sudden death of his brother Frank, Scott signed to direct the film version of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Renamed ‘Blade Runner’, starring Harrison Ford and featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Vangelis, the movie was a disappointment in theatres in 1982 and was pulled shortly thereafter. Scott’s notes were used by Warner Brothers to create a rushed Director’s Cut in 1991 which removed the voiceovers and modified the ending. Scott personally supervised a digital restoration of Blade Runner and approved the Final Cut. This version was released in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto cinemas on 5 October 2007, and as an elaborate DVD release on 18 December 2007. Today, Blade Runner is often ranked by critics as one of the most important science fiction films of the 20th century and is usually discussed along with William Gibson’s novel Neuromancer as initiating the cyberpunk genre. Scott regards Blade Runner as his “most complete and personal film”.

In 1985 Scott directed ‘Legend’, a fantasy film. Having not tackled the fairy tale genre, Scott decided to create a “once upon a time” film set in a world of fairies, princesses, and goblins. Scott cast Tom Cruise as the film’s hero, Jack, Mia Sara as Princess Lily, and Tim Curry as the Satan-horned Lord of Darkness. A series of problems with both principal photography, including the destruction of the forest set by fire, and post-production interference (including heavy editing and substitution of Jerry Goldsmith’s original score with a score by Tangerine Dream) hampered the film’s release. Legend received scathing reviews and was a box-office failure, however the movie found a cult following on VHS, largely due to Curry’s incredible demon.


Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve, born 22 October 1943) is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as ‘Repulsion’ (1965) and ‘Belle de Jour’ (1967). Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performance in ‘Indochine’; she also won Cesar Awards for that film and ‘The Last Metro’ (1980). Considered one of France’s most successful actresses, she has also appeared in seven English-language films, most notably the 1983 cult classic ‘The Hunger’.

Repulsion is a 1965 British psychological thriller directed by Roman Polanski, based on a scenario by Gerard Brach and Polanski. Polanski’s first English language film, the plot follows Carole Ledoux (Catherine Deneuve) is a young Belgian manicurist who lives in Kensington, London, with her sister Helen (Yvonne Furneaux). Carol seems shy and interacts with men awkwardly. When Helen leaves on a holiday to Italy with her married boyfriend, Michael (Ian Hendry), Carol acts distracted at work, refuses to leave her apartment, leaves a raw, skinned rabbit out to rot, and sees hallucinations, first of the walls cracking, then reaching out with hands to grab and attack her, and finally of a man breaking in and raping her.

The film is shot in black and white, increasingly adopting the perspective of its protagonist. The dream sequences are particularly intense; dark, creepy and disturbing, Repulsion still packs a punch today. Repulsion is the first of Polanski’s “apartment trilogy” (the other two being ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968) and ‘The Tenant’ (Le Locataire, 1976).

The Hunger is a 1983 British gothic horror film and the directorial debut of Tony Scott. It is the story of a love triangle between doctor Sarah Roberts (Susan Sarandon) who specializes in sleep and aging research and a counter-culture vampire couple Miriam Blaylock (Catherine Deneuve) and John (David Bowie). The film is a loose adaptation of the 1981 novel of the same name by Whitley Streiber.

The films opens in a night club in New York to a live performance from Bauhaus playing Bela Lugosi’s Dead. Periodic killing and feeding upon human victims allows Miriam and John to possess eternal youth, or at least that is what John was led to believe. John begins aging rapidly. He realizes that Miriam knew that this would happen, and that her promises of “forever and ever” were only partially true. He WILL have eternal life, but not eternal youth and vitality. Feeling betrayed, he seeks out the help of Dr. Sarah Roberts; Sarah assumes that John is a hypochondriac or mentally unbalanced, and ignores his pleas for help. As John leaves the clinic in a rage, Sarah is horrified to see how rapidly John is aging.

I loved The Hunger when it first came out, visual stylish and featuring an incredibly sensual love scene between Deneuve and Sarandon, it was perfect fodder for me as a young student. The Hunger was not particularly well-received upon its initial release, and was attacked by many critics for being heavy on atmosphere and visuals but slow on pace and plot. However, the film has found a cult following that responded to its dark, glamorous atmosphere and is also popular with some segments of the goth subculture, due to the ethereal look and aforementioned Bauhaus opening number. It also inspired a short-lived TV series of the same name.


The Wild Bunch – Remake

With news earlier that Ridley Scott was returning to his sci-fi classic Blade Runner. His Scott Free partner and brother Tony Scott is also getting serious about a new version of a movie classic. Scott is in talks with Warner Bros to direct a reboot of the 1969 Sam Peckinpah-directed The Wild Bunch. This film becomes one of three or so that Scott is most eager to direct as his follow-up to the Denzel Washington-Chris Pine action film Unstoppable.

The original The Wild Bunch was about an aging group of outlaws that try for one last score on the Texas-Mexico border in 1913, as the Old West changes around them. The original starred William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan and Warren Oates. The studio has tried for years to get this going, once getting a script from Training Day‘s David Ayer. It’s early days on the project, but Scott and producer Jerry Weintraub have a take for the movie and Brian Helgeland will draft it.