Monday, October 8, 2012

Tony Scott in Stills

Tyler and David at Battleship Pretension were kind enough to invite my babbling ass on to discuss the career of Tony Scott, a filmmaker I adore and for whom my respect has grown immensely in the last week after watching (or rewatching) nearly all of his films. I only missed a three-film chunk in the late 80s/early 90s, but it proved to be one of the most invigorating weeks of moviewatching of my life. Anything that I watch in the next week or so will inevitably feel like a comedown.

One of the elements of Scott's work that I addressed on the show (albeit in a sideways manner) was this idea that he's a filmmaker of surfaces, an accusation that has been hurled his way since Top Gun. Not only do I feel that's kind of a surfacey complaint (so much of the appeal of cinema is surface-level; to dismiss it is to dismiss the joy of the movies), but I find his imagery to be infinitely more substantial than many of his contemporaries. On the show, I said this would be a gallery of images too weird to describe, and we certainly have those, but more than anything, this is a testament to just how sharp a filmmaker he was. As incredible as he was with capturing (and creating) kineticism and movement, his single frames - if you can manage to catch them - are stunning.

I didn't have DVD copies of everything I watched - notably The Hunger and Enemy of the State - but I made do as best I could. So let's dive in...