I don’t really “get” Ridley Scott; Never have, possibly never will. Which is a little strange, given that he fits all the criteria for a director that I should love: He makes sci-fi, fantasy and horror films (Or, for the most part, movies in which several people are shot in the face or skewered by a sword); he’s both critically acclaimed and very commercially successful; and his stories tend to skew to the amoralist, or at the very least trying to get people to think outside the box.
So, what’s not to like about Sir Ridley?
Well. . . Doing a little preliminary research, I find that I’m not alone in thinking that he values stye over substance. A friend of mine, who is a huge fan, once explained to me that Ridley was once a student of classical art, and that he’s “really more of a painter than a director”. I often admit to being highly shallow, and I also love the concept of “pure cinema” (And mainstream films that have been influenced by that concept, like 2001: A Space Odyssey). Maybe it’s the “shaky-cam” that he so often employs? I’m generally a fan of cool, crisp images; the type that Stanley Kubrick would often use.
However, the more I think about it, the more comparisons I could start making to Kubrick. They both like a good story, but often use it merely as a framework for a more poetic experience. They both have deliberately paced methods, punctuated by either super-fast or super-slow moments of violence. And they are both regarded as perfectionists.
It’s because of these conflicting thoughts that I’d decided to watch through the Ridley Scott catalog. There’s only a couple that I’m sure I haven’t seen before (Apparently I gave The Duellists only one star on Netflix, though I can’t remember having watched it for the life of me), but I haven’t seen some of them in a very long time. Then, realizing that three of his relatives also have films coming out this year (Brother Tony, and kids Jake and Jordan), I figured “Fuck it! I’ll do a family marathon”.
What are my thoughts going into this? Holy shit. Some will be a pleasure (Alien, Blade Runner), some will be painful (Revenge, Hannibal), but the experience overall should be fun and enlightening. I’m mostly pre-sold on Tony; I enjoy his dirty, and near-apocalyptic, action fests. I’m just hoping that I come through this with a better appreciation of Sir Scott. Since Ridley is the father of the “Director’s Cut”, I will most likely just watch whatever version that he seems to have the highest opinion of. Might do some of the commentaries as well, since he isn’t a director who shies away from them. Possibly a rating system of some sort also, which I’ve been milling over for awhile now.
Well, here goes. . . Wish me luck!