I’ve always defended Tony Scott for many of the reasons others picked on him. Where his brother gets the accolades for (occasionally) creating art with films, Tony, more often than not, would create art with movies. He pushed the envelope of story and visuals into his movies so smoothly that the general public didn’t realize it was watching amazing cinematography, following complex story lines, keeping up with bat shit insane editing, or smiling through ultra-violence, it just swallowed it all like tasty popcorn.
I can go back and think of multiple times one of his films defined a period in my life. I wanted only to be a Naval pilot as a kid because of him. My college was spent with repeated viewings of True Romance hoping to be as cool as Clarence, and I could watch Spy Game endlessly as a master class in slick cinematic choreography. I also have a fond memory of forcing my brother to watch Top Gun in a 70mm print to prove to him that it is indeed an entirely different, and amazing film, when not watched on a television. His first words out of the theater were “that’s an awesome film.”
And then there are all the commercials.
As I often say to friends… Rare is the director who you need only to see a few frames from their film before knowing who it is, and he was one of them.
He will be greatly missed. RIP. so very sad.
image from the vastly underrated “The Last Boy Scout”