|The Pocket Essentials Ridley Scott
Written by Brian J. Robb
Trafalgar Square Publishing 2001
|Brian J. Robb goes over Ridley Scotts
entire career in 96 pages. Ive seen nine out of the twelve films discussed and after
reading this book have the desire to see the other three.
Something I like right off the bat about the book is that it points out that Ridley Scott didnt make his first feature film until he was nearly forty years old. That is something that should serve as inspiration for any aspiring filmmaker, especially anyone who doesnt make it overnight.
This little book carries some depth as Robb includes important information about Scott business side of things; purchasing Shepperton Studios, Scotts advertising company RSA and film production companies. Producer David Puttnam even mentions at the end of the book that Scott would probably have a clutch of Oscars under his belt if he concentrated solely on making movies, because he definitely has the talent.
If you step back, like Brian Robb does, its interesting to look at Scotts career from a wide angle. Ridley Scott definitely has an interest in historical stories because hes made THE DUELLISTS, 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE, and GLADIATOR. He has also focused in on true-life dramatic stories WHITE SQUALL and BLACK HAWK DOWN. Hes made science fiction masterpieces ALIEN & BLADE RUNNER. The definitive female road picture THELMA & LOUISE. Flawed but amazing looking fantasy LEGEND. Then throw in SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, BLACK RAIN, G.I. JANE, HANNIBAL and MATCHSTICK MEN and you have the career that is pretty darn diverse.
Ridley Scott is usually criticized that the look of his films overpowers the characters. That may be the case a few of his films but I would argue that Scott uses the camera and production design to go along with his actors to create some of the most interesting films weve seen over the past thirty years.