Thursday, October 6, 2022

In The Zone: Philophising based on Perception regarding the legacies of Filmaking brothers Tony and Ridley Scott.

Tony and Ridley Scott have noteworthy visual styles, but Tony Scott’s usually had more of a polished quality to them. They were sleek in appearance and largely designed to be mass crowd pleasers. Not surprisingly both men came from the world of commercials and it shows. Where Ridley Scott differs from his brother is that stylistically his films have different tones and he has worked in far more genres than Tony Scott did and ever will. I think Mark Kermode said it best when he stated that Ridley Scott’s films are only as good as his screenplays. You could say that about any filmmaker, but with Scott it really shows. Take Prometheus for example, a film that I personally feel was ruined because Scott allowed himself to be bedazzled by Damon Lindeloff (spelling). To be fair to Damon, he is good at what he does and he gets a lot of crap for things that really is overreaction. When one gets older and loses loved ones, it can make questions occur that used to be easy to reason away, but now it is simply harder to dismiss. It is like believing there really is a place called Heaven where everyone gets Angel wings, lives in the clouds and is eternally happy. A child can accept that, but by the time you are a teenager, that Santa Claus vision of God erodes in the same way adolescence erodes the innocence of childhood by making the youth become aware that life is not fair at least from a teenager’s standpoint and our parents are not these magical giants who protect us, clothe us and feed us, they are mortal human beings not that different from us except they have a different perspective based on age and experience. 

That is where Ridley Scott is as a human being and in particular after losing his brother, he is using his filmmaking art to reason through what has occurred in his personal life around him. That is why in hindsight it is no surprise to see the similarities on a far deeper level that may have attracted him to Prometheus and The Counselor. Both films are philosophizing about the nature of life and death with a nihilistic edge. One film puts faith against logic and entitlement with damnation. The other film pits determinism with social Darwinism. In the end of both films, the viewer is left with a number unanswered questions that can only be answered by the viewer individually. Hence how the devastating yet poignant discussion of Mercado by the multi talented Ruben Blades sticks with the viewer long after they see The Counselor. Tony made crowd pleasing blockbusters and that is something no one can take away from him, but Ridley’s films are more varied and in a world of envious liars, I am not sure if Tony would have ever been given the chances Ridley has, but we can appreciate the works for how we perceive them and though we may not agree, so long as one is not hurting one’s self and or someone else, it is fine to disagree so long as you can accept that right or wrong no one will always agree with you or me or anyone always ever. Thank you. Namaste.

(C) Copyright 2022 By Mark A. Rivera

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