Director Tony Scott has died in an apparent suicide. Scott directed some of my favorite action movies of all time, movies that I watch enough so that I own high end DVD copies of them and have them ripped on my iPad.
Top Gun, True Romance, The Last Boy Scout, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game, Man on Fire, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable, and many others. These are great action films that can bear repeated watching even when you know them by heart.
Man on Fire stands out: Denzel Washington (in many Scott movies), Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning (as a young girl), the editing, the music, the sense of place (Mexico), the gun tech and violence.
Walken’s character, Rayburn:
A man can be an artist… in anything, food, whatever. It depends on how good he is at it. Creasey’s art is death. He’s about to paint his masterpiece.
Tidbit: if you listen at the beginning of many Tony Scott films there is a signature sound Easter egg, a synthetic car horn sound blended in with the other sounds and underneath music. It’s in Man on Fire, Deja Vu, Enemy of the State, Unstoppable, and maybe others. This sound is a prelude to some of the best sound editing in movies. The sound in Tony Scott films is an important part of the sensory landscape and adds to the unease created by lots of hand-held visual shots.
As Ron Howard tweeted this morning: “No more Tony Scott movies. Tragic day.”
My condolences to Tony Scott’s family as well as his brother, Ridley Scott.