I awoke this morning to tragic news; Tony Scott, one of the finest film makers of a generation, has taken his own life at the age of 68 by jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach, California. I’m sure that the media of the world will pore over the possible reasons for this devastating act in weeks to come, but nothing will ever replace him for friends, family and millions of movie lovers around the world.
When I started this blog, I tried to settle on a name which captured my intentions, to encourage others to watch films and to watch them in a cinema. When settling on the name “The Movie Evangelist”, not only did the name roll off the tongue better than “The Film Evangelist”, but it also captured that sense of what drove my love in the first place. While I’m as happy with the art house as I am with the blockbuster these days, it was my love of genuine movies, the thrill ride best enjoyed in a dark room on a big screen with a large audience, that has fuelled my passion and sees me where I am today, desperately sad that we’re deprived of any more works from one of action cinema’s greatest talents.
But while he spoke the language of action movies fluently, he also worked with some of the best casts of the last thirty years: the likes of Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman and Christopher Walkman cropped up regularly in his films, and it was the combination of great acting, excellent scripts and his unique direction, which was undervalued in his lifetime but already seems to have touched so many as news of his death circulates. In addition, his production company Scott Free, set up with brother Ridley, had also started to produce some real gems in the past few years, and his impact on everything from music videos to big budget films will last for a long time to come.
While I don’t know that I can find fitting words to pay tribute, what I can do is share trailers for some of my favourite Tony Scott movies. I hope watching some of these will inspire you to get out the DVD or the Blu-ray and put them on sometime this week. Normally I would limit myself to a strict half dozen, but to try to sum up such a career in six films seems barely sufficient, but I’m sure you’ll not mind on this occasion. Tony Scott, rest in peace.