Ridley Scott is a master of tone and atmosphere. Remember Alien and Blade Runner? In each he’s able to capture a future that we somehow relate to, even though I can’t imagine flying state size space ships to other planets, much less cars through a cityscape in my life time. In his newest film American Gangster his skill as a filmmaker brings to life an era that I missed entirely with an eye that no director has used before. Most films glorify certain eras, making them more beautiful perhaps than they actually were. One such film is Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, which I found more rom-comish than a real look at the music scene from the early 70′s. Hollywood distills through the eyes of a frosty lens or soft light, Scott however keeps it dirty, grungy and filthy. So this is what they mean when they say New York City didn’t always used to be as pretty or safe as it is now! I felt a true sense of danger while watching the story of Frank Lucas unfold before me. Denzel Washington is a calm fire as Lucas, the biggest drug runner of Heroine in the era of Vietnam. He’s a man no person should like, but he’s smarter than most everyone else and most of all, he’s patient. We respect him even when he brings his oblivious but decent family members into his drug trade. When one member of his family decides to put aside his potential for a note worthy career to become like Frank, we shake our heads in dismay, because not even Frank can see his potential down fall, and the damage it will cause his family and that is his flaw, pride. While he barks at others for vainly wearing their flashy clothes because that’s who the cops will pick out first, the pride that lingers inside begins to twist into a darker vanity. I could easily draw parallels of Lucas’ downfall to Scorcese and De Niro giving life to Jake La Motta’s downfall. He no longer sees his own family as people he should take care of, he no longer see his own flaws, he can no longer better himself. He doesn’t see himself as a person who needs to better himself, because he’s successful.
Posts Tagged ‘Ridley Scott’
I didn’t think it would be so possible to be moved by a film that I’ve seen on countless occasions as if I’d just watched it for the first time. But as the Ladd Company tree appeared on the screen and the first boom of Vangelis’ score echoed throughout the theatre, I felt myself sink back into my chair as my eyes watered over and it felt like the first time I had watched Blade Runner on the floor of my Grandparents living room two feet from the television monitor And I sat speechless until the credits were done with their scroll. (more…)
Bladerunner is my favorite movie, not by much, but it has remained so since I first saw it at 14 years of age. I’ve been waiting in anticipation for the newest version that comes out on DVD in December. But this evening I heard from a producer that the newest version of Bladerunner is playing at a theatre near you…or at least me…or at least if you live in the Los Angeles area.
It’s playing until next Thursday, October 18th, 2007 at the Landmark Theatre in the Westside Pavillion Mall on Pico Blvd, just East of the 405.
I’m rushing to see it tomorrow, so will refrain from speaking anymore about it until after.
(As a note all I knew about this film while walking into it was that it starred Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck and was shot by the unapproachable DP Roger Deakins. If you wish to have that same surprise, then don’t read on. For those of you who do I won’t give away much, except that Jesse James is assassinated.)
I love long titles to movies but that didn’t stop my friend and I from joking while walking into the theatre about it. We could remember the first part The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward… and then we’d mumble into silence, truly a good laugh. After having seen this film I don’t think I’ll ever forget his name, …Rober Ford, though whether or not he was a coward should be left up to you. (more…)