Sunday, August 19, 2012

RIP Tony Scott

Jeezus: Wikipedia are saying Tony Scott died earlier today of an "apparent suicide by jumping," at age 68.

I'm stunned. I've said for awhile that I considered Tony Scott the more interesting of the Scotts; his older brother Ridley (whom I abused at some length for Prometheus, here) gets far more respect and adulation, but I'm personally far fonder of the younger Scott's honest genre fare, which he made with considerable gusto and inventiveness, which few people publicly acknowledged. True, many of his films are awful - his Taking of Pelham 1,2,3 remake was both unnecessary and embarrassingly bad, and Top Gun is only fun if you queer it; others of his films are so reactionary and unenlightened as to be flat-out offensive, like The Last Boy Scout. Still, however you feel about any one of his films, they're never without an impressive degree of craftsmanship, and almost always have a flavour to the cinematography and editing that is recognizably and uniquely his own (it is actually far easier to tell by the look of one of his films who the director is, as opposed to his older brother, who, whatever successes he's had, has little in the way of a distinctive visual sensibility). They're not all stinkers, either: Scott made several films that I have considerable fondness for, including The Hunger, True Romance, and Enemy of the State, all of which are worth seeing at least once. People who liked last year's Source Code should take a look at his Deja Vu, as well (not an entirely successful film, but certainly a respectable, smarter-than-average Hollywood thriller). No clue yet as to why he would kill himself - I guess that the story will emerge that he had a terminal illness or such that he didn't want to surrender to. All the same, my condolences to those who cared about him, or admired his films; Hollywood just got a little duller today, something it can ill afford to do...

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