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Tony Scott, 1944-2012
August 19, 2012 9:30 PM   Subscribe

Tony Scott, younger brother of Ridley Scott, is perhaps best known for directing True Romance, but he had a long career making action films that had verve and a pulse, including an ongoing collaboration with Denzel Washington. His last film, Unstoppable, was one of his biggest critical and commercial hits, earning him widespread praise as the consummate mainstream Hollywood stylist. He committed suicide today at age 68.
posted by eugenen (171 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy shit!
posted by ReeMonster at 9:30 PM on August 19, 2012


Even more talented than his brother. RIP.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:32 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


!!! .
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:32 PM on August 19, 2012


Scott, 68, climbed a fence on the south side of the bridge's apex and leapt off "without hesitation" around 12:30 p.m., according to the Coroner's Department and port police.

Maybe I just don't read a lot of these and so don't have "without hesitation" in my expected vocabulary, but damn.
posted by glhaynes at 9:34 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


wtf?
posted by vibrotronica at 9:35 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hate reading people's names at the start of a MeFi post. Let me just map out my thought process while reading this.

1) Tony Scott? Hey I know that guy. Uh oh. Hope he's still cool.

2) Ah, they're just talking about his movies. Maybe he's got something new and notable out. He's far from a favourite but his films have an undoubtable style. Shit, dude made Top Gun!

3) Ah shit. Shit shit shit.

.
posted by dumbland at 9:36 PM on August 19, 2012 [21 favorites]


.

I'd say hes probably more known for Top Gun. And yeah, WTF indeed. I always thought Ridley was the depressive of the family.
posted by Artw at 9:36 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


.

Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Spy Game.. and Top Gun is, y'know, Top Gun. those are some good movies.. the man did have a very solid career.
posted by ninjew at 9:37 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, what? How horrible!

I wonder what drove him to this choice for himself. Of course, none of the contents of his suicide note have been released at this time.

Is it crass to say that I hope it was learning he had received a difficult medical diagnosis and he chose to die in his own manner, rather than him feeling existential despair which drove him to this choice?

68 is a good run. I'd be happy to live that long. I'd hope I'd have the courage to exit if it seemed appropriate at that age.

This is all speculation. Mostly I just should thank the Universe for his very entertaining films, Unstoppable was the last in a long line of movies which lived up to their promise. I'm sorry he's gone, and wish his family peace and conciliation in this time of their loss.

.
posted by hippybear at 9:41 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Hunger is a great film.
So sad.
posted by fullerine at 9:42 PM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


Wow, terrible news.

.
posted by mattbucher at 9:43 PM on August 19, 2012


Even if he'd only ever made True Romance, he still would have earned my total respect.

Sucks that he found himself in a place where he felt he had to check himself out.

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posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:43 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


.
posted by lalochezia at 9:45 PM on August 19, 2012


I'd hope I'd have the courage to exit if it seemed appropriate at that age.

Yeah but he's got two boys around 10-14 years old.
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh no. I worked on one of his DVDs. So sorry for his family.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:47 PM on August 19, 2012


Is it crass to say that I hope it was learning he had received a difficult medical diagnosis and he chose to die in his own manner, rather than him feeling existential despair which drove him to this choice?

Their older brother Frank died of cancer.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:48 PM on August 19, 2012


Yeah, I saw that. It's a tragedy for his family, indeed.
posted by hippybear at 9:48 PM on August 19, 2012


Yeah, I saw that. It's a tragedy for his family, indeed.

Gaa. That was in response to stbalbach.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 PM on August 19, 2012


It is absolutely silly to quibble with this as the post is clearly about the unfortunate death of this man, but "perhaps best known for directing True Romance?"

Tony Scott directed 16 movies. True Romance was the 14th most commercially successful of the group. It was not nominated for any Golden Globes or Academy Awards.

It may be the movie of his that is best known to you, but by no imaginable definition is it best known to the general public.
posted by flarbuse at 9:51 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Tony Scott directed 16 movies.

He also produced 16 movies. One of which was that little indie favorite Prometheus.
posted by hippybear at 9:56 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Never met an extreme close-up he didn't like, but he did solid work. And the visual coherence of the Top Gun dogfights was better than solid.

.
posted by Egg Shen at 10:03 PM on August 19, 2012


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posted by DSime at 10:03 PM on August 19, 2012


Suicide is a sad thing regardless of the reasoning. The guy had a long illustrious career and a family. Until the actual reason becomes public, maybe it's better to leave the intimations at the door on this one.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 10:09 PM on August 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Tony Scott directed 16 movies. True Romance was the 14th most commercially successful of the group. It was not nominated for any Golden Globes or Academy Awards.

It may be the movie of his that is best known to you, but by no imaginable definition is it best known to the general public.


I think that to the population of people likely to know or care who directed a movie, he is best known for True Romance. But whatever.
posted by eugenen at 10:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


Say what you want about "Top Gun"; I've said it myself, many times. Can't deny the movie's iconic, though. RIP.
posted by blucevalo at 10:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah damn. This really sucks...
posted by jason says at 10:13 PM on August 19, 2012


• RIP, Sir.
posted by bz at 10:13 PM on August 19, 2012


While I generally like to think of my taste in movies as leaning towards the more quiet, thoughtful and quirky, I'm not immune to the charms of a great action movie. Tony Scott's Man on Fire absolutely fit that mold; probably my favorite "revenge fantasy" movie ever. Hauntingly, the film featured a suicidal main character who tried, unsuccessfully, to take his own life early in the film
posted by The Gooch at 10:16 PM on August 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Terrible for me because I wanted more films. Hopefully not so terrible for him because he lived a life doing what he wanted to do that ended on his own terms.

.
posted by cmoj at 10:21 PM on August 19, 2012


I think that to the population of people likely to know or care who directed a movie, he is best known for True Romance.

Top Gun, certainly. I wouldn't have thought of True Romance if it hadn't been in the FPP.

He was able to put an end to his pain, whatever that pain may have been. It is sad for those who will grieve him.

.
posted by tzikeh at 10:26 PM on August 19, 2012


.

True Romance may be his best, but sometimes I think I'm the only champion of Crimson Tide. The standoff(s) between Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman is worth the lesser parts of the script.

I wonder if he had any history of mental illness. Just a sad end. And distressing for me when I hear of older people twice my age calling it in; I'd like to think I'll have conquered my demons at that point.
posted by zardoz at 10:27 PM on August 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I really love The Hunger, I suspect that many would think it's hollywood trash and maybe it is but I really like it. I read off a link here somewhere that it was the only way to get a lesbian love story on the big screen in the suburbs, not just art house theaters -- give it big movie stars, make it a vampire/slasher movie and then fly the love story under the radar.

It's a hard death, and not everybody dies when they hit the water, end up drowning. Some people will say that suicide is a cowards way out -- wtf are they thinking? He gave us a lot, h had a good life, I hope it was a good death; it was dramatic, for sure, he went out loud, same as he lived.

.
posted by dancestoblue at 10:29 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love his remake of Man on Fire but always say the film succeeds despite his direction. It's a great script with superb performances.

For me, Scott's best film is easily Enemy of the State.

RIP.
posted by dobbs at 10:29 PM on August 19, 2012


I, too, think that True Romance is his best film. But I think it's because he and Tarantino were complementary — Scott's commercial and conventional instincts made a lot of Tarantino's quirky preciousness tolerable, sometimes delightful and entrancing where it would have been too self-indulgent and often incoherent otherwise. Meanwhile, Tarantino gave the film a vision and soul that it would have lacked as a typical Tony Scott film. I mean, to me, most of the rest of Scott's best films have a sameness to me that I associated with highly-polished Hollywood entertainment product.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:30 PM on August 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


So it goes.

What I loved about Tony Scott was the fact that he was an unashamedly commercial director who still managed to inject his own flair to his films. You know when you're watching a Tony Scott film. It's all fast action, frenetic editing and an assload of fog to give depth to his scenes.

Genuinely sorry to see him go.
posted by swishypants at 10:34 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The opening scene from Last Boy Scout was always a favourite of mine.
posted by meech at 10:39 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Man, I loved, loved some of these movies. The only ones of his I haven't enjoyed are the ones I haven't seen.

.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:42 PM on August 19, 2012


Oh fucking, for god sakes just STOP DYING.
posted by The Whelk at 10:43 PM on August 19, 2012 [10 favorites]


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posted by gonzo_ID at 10:43 PM on August 19, 2012


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posted by wrapper at 10:45 PM on August 19, 2012


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posted by brundlefly at 10:48 PM on August 19, 2012


OK, so who or what is a Drexel?

.
posted by amorphatist at 10:49 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Please, no sucker-punch obits.

.
posted by fleacircus at 10:51 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm always amazed when super successful people commit suicide. Yes, perhaps it was health related, and it's really too early to speculate...errr. I remember a few years ago when a fashion model jumped to her death from her fancy NYC apartment. When you are so beautiful that people pay you to take your picture, how can you be depressed? Depression is completely illogical.

Rest in peace, Tony.
posted by mrhappy at 10:54 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Depression is completely illogical.

Exactly, and it's a place that a ton of us have been. It's a hole you don't think your way out of, which makes it so heartbreaking to witness.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:57 PM on August 19, 2012 [17 favorites]


So sorry to hear.

.
posted by Dr. Peter Venkman at 10:58 PM on August 19, 2012


Picture me in Budapest back when I was 19 wearing about ...oh a few thousand dollars worth of clothes and items, having walked out of a party and onto the outer bridge parts, not yet on the edge but a leap away and serously thinking I should just do it, just right now, just jump cause it would be quick and real and I've reached the peake and it's all downhill from here and it's just better this way just do it, it would be so romantic and so perfect and so fitting, just jump. It's not going to hurt anyone, it'll make thier lives better, and you'll be done! You won't have to feel like this anymore, total win win. Just do it. It's easy. Do it. Do it. Like you'll miss anything. It'll be better cause people won't have to deal with your things but the romantic setting will give them a good story and stuff. Do it. I bet you can't put your hands on the railing, I bet you can't push out, I bet you can't put your foot out over the water I bet you can't....I'm getting actually physically I'll remembering the games I would play with myself to get my foot dangling out over the river...

I didn't, but only cause of really nasty summertime traffic swerving and buzzing me and cause I fear cats more than I fear death, apparently, cause I got off and went back to the hotel room where I just drank a lot and then passed out but didn't jump into the Danube like I was totally willing to. So ..yah.
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 PM on August 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


He was a good director, and I enjoyed most of his movies. This is shocking news.

.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:08 PM on August 19, 2012


Tl;dr that thought process SUCKS why do we even HAVE that process?
posted by The Whelk at 11:08 PM on August 19, 2012


It's hard sometimes, Whelk. But having the freedom to die is the flip side of having the freedom to live. I'm not endorsing suicide (NOT AT ALL), but being able to turn off one's own switch is a natural consequence of not being a robot.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


"When you are so beautiful that people pay you to take your picture, how can you be depressed? Depression is completely illogical."

One of the most depressed periods of my life, and in fact when I was eventually hospitalized, began literally one month after I'd had deposited in my bank account several hundred thousand dollars from my dotcom job's company's IPO. I vividly recall lying in bed thinking that I could pretty much buy anything I wanted at that moment, fly around the world, whatever I wanted, and I knew that it wouldn't make me even one tiny bit happier.

It wasn't until my mid-twenties when I was very happily married (so, relationship was going well) and for the first and only time in my life ecstatically happy and successful in school (so, truly engaged in stuff I loved and feeling pride in my accomplishments) when I found myself not getting out of bed in the morning and for no apparent reason whatsoever sinking into a depressive cycle of self-destruction. Until that time, I'd always thought that all this stuff I'd felt from at least my adolescence was situational and/or totally my fault. It took this situation where there was absolutely no external explanation, and nothing about how I felt about myself in my life at that moment, which could explain why I was so depressed and less and less functional ... for me to finally realize, hey, I have a big problem with chronic major depression.

Anyway, money and success and stuff don't make a difference. Depression creates its own internal reality, largely independent of the external world. Like a lot of people, while not naively believing that money would make me happy, I did sort of think that it would be, I dunno, palliative or something. But, trust me, in my case, anyway, having a pile of money I could spend without reservation only underscored how helpless I felt to make myself feel better, how utterly powerless I was over this despair.

Which is pretty much how I always feel when I get that depressed. That you're that depressed and can't stop being that depressed is all by itself its own sort of hell. I think that sometimes people attempt suicide simply because it's about the only thing they feel will change something — it's perversely almost like the only control or agency you feel you have. Otherwise, there's just this weight sitting on you squeezing the life out of you, slowly and inevitably.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:11 PM on August 19, 2012 [58 favorites]


Whether it's right or moral to turn off own's own switch is another question entirely...
posted by Kevin Street at 11:12 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


mrhappy, eponysterical?, depression affects successful and unsuccessful people alike. It is, in fact, a mental illness whose nature involves severely illogical thought processes, thus many AskMe commenters recommend cognitive therapy -- which can reverse those illogical thoughts.

It could be plausibly argued, for example, that beautiful people get many things too easily in our culture, and as a result do not feel the same sense of accomplishment that the rest of us get to.
posted by dhartung at 11:12 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Whether it's right or moral to turn off own's own switch is another question entirely...

Let's not do this.
posted by tzikeh at 11:25 PM on August 19, 2012 [14 favorites]


It already started upthread of my post, tzikeh. But I won't press the issue any further.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:27 PM on August 19, 2012


Oh NO. Very fond of his movies. One of my favorite childhood memories was watching Beverly Hills Cop 2 with my dad on opening weekend. One of the hilarious high-energy chase scenes made my dad laugh so hard that he actually STOOD UP and started clapping, doubled over in laughter. I had to tug his shirt to get him to sit down so he would stop blocking the (very-amused) theater-goers behind us. My dad will be heartbroken to hear this. Such a shock, and a true loss of talent. My heart goes out to his family.

.
posted by hampanda at 11:29 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's ok to talk about suicide here, considering the circumstances.
posted by Brocktoon at 11:30 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


.

Mental illness from the outside is so hard to wrap one's head around. I understand the suicidal impulse more than I care to admit, but then, you look at someone like Mr. Scott, whose work has provided such joy to others and I can't help, no matter how empathic I think I am, but think "If I had such success, I can't imagine killing myself."

I know that's not how it works, but I can't help but go there, at least a bit.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:33 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Enemy of the State is probably my favourite of his films. I mean, it's a solid thriller-action film in its own right, but for it also to feel so closely related to Coppola's The Conversation just makes it really special to me.

Someone above said he was a better director than his brother. I dunno, I'm not sure he quite hits Ridley's highs. But boy, I think Tony was a lot more consistently good. Ridley's career is all over the place.

Here's to the man who directed The Hunger, Top Gun, Days of Thunder, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Domino, Man on Fire and Unstoppable. He will be missed.
posted by crossoverman at 11:35 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know that's not how it works, but I can't help but go there, at least a bit.

To me, that just proves what an insidious condition depression is - even when we know that's not how it works, we think it must be easier for people who are happy and people who are successful to deal with it, to treat it or to cope with it. Clearly, it isn't.
posted by crossoverman at 11:44 PM on August 19, 2012


"If I had such success, I can't imagine killing myself."

I think this says more about our society's misguided notions of "success" than it does about depression or human nature.

I'm also big fan. Probably the only person I know who counts Days of Thunder among my favorite movies. I always felt like he made comic book movies, only without superheroes. His movies were always "see it in the theater" movies for me.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:45 PM on August 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Enemy of the State is probably my favourite of his films. I mean, it's a solid thriller-action film in its own right, but for it also to feel so closely related to Coppola's The Conversation just makes it really special to me.

And the overlooked Spy Game is a great companion-piece to Three Days of the Condor.
posted by swishypants at 11:48 PM on August 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I had such success, I can't imagine killing myself.

Then you should be glad every single day of your life that you haven't experienced depression, because that's one reason why you can't imagine it.

NOTE: None of us know at the moment if Scott suffered from depression, so we're really talking hypotheticals; suicide can result from any number of things. But if you think that having made a bunch of movies and money would make suicide incomprehensible to you, then you don't know from mental illness, and you're very very lucky.
posted by tzikeh at 11:49 PM on August 19, 2012 [13 favorites]


["Poor you" comment deleted; I don't know what you think you're doing, LOLCat, but don't do it.]
posted by taz at 11:51 PM on August 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by From Bklyn at 11:52 PM on August 19, 2012


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posted by ob1quixote at 11:56 PM on August 19, 2012


Having depression doesn't necessarily mean you're suicidal.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:06 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


.

My girlfriend and I saw somebody trudging up the side of the Gerald Desmond bridge from downtown Long Beach the other evening (the Vincent Thomas bridge is on the other side of the port). It has no sidewalks and there isn't much over there to walk to, so it was definitely a troubling sight. We called 911 and hoped for the best. A part of me thought I might have overreacted that night, but seeing this makes me glad I picked up the phone.
posted by Defenestrator at 12:11 AM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


For True Romance; for Crimson Tide; for Everything you did for those around you: it is a loss to the world.

.
posted by flippant at 12:12 AM on August 20, 2012


To celebrate the life and work of Tony Scott, 3 short films he directed...

One of the Missing (his first, from 1969)

Beat the Devil (a commercial tie-in for BMW)

Agent Orange (a recent work for "Amazon Theater")

via Scott Weinberg on Twitter
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:12 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think it's ok to talk about suicide here, considering the circumstances.

Yeah it's okay, but delving into talk about a rightness, a goodness, and morality about suicide is crass considering the circumstances.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:13 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Brocktoon: I think it's ok to talk about suicide here, considering the circumstances.

Rocket Surgeon: delving into talk about a rightness, a goodness, and morality about suicide is crass considering the circumstances.

See, that's exactly why I suggested we not do this,* because the moment the idea that suicide could ever be a good or right or moral choice is introduced to the conversation, someone says something like that--judgmental, condescending, insulting, and hurtful to people who believe that it can be,, given specific circumstances.

*this=bringing morality into the discussion of suicide in general, not discussing this suicide and its particulars/details.
posted by tzikeh at 12:35 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Industrial PhD at 12:39 AM on August 20, 2012


His poor family. I don't care why he did it; it's horrible for them no matter what drove him to this. :(
posted by lesbiassparrow at 12:42 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by Z303 at 12:46 AM on August 20, 2012


RIP.

The Telegraph's obituary is very good

"Reportedly a man who only needed three hours of sleep each night, he awoke to three cups of black coffee and a large Monte Cristo, the first — of 12 — of the day. He was a passionate mountaineer who claimed to be never happier than when “5,000 feet up on a cliff face”. A catholic collector of art, he acquired works by artists ranging from Robert Rauschenberg to Guido Reni."

(Though they don't rate Last Boy Scout)
posted by DanCall at 1:04 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was a big fan of his due to Man on Fire. He will be missed.
posted by haveanicesummer at 1:20 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I will treasure many of his films and TV shows. His family will sorrow for a very long time. RIP Tony
posted by cherluvya at 1:39 AM on August 20, 2012


I saw The Hunger at exactly the right time in my life - Bowie, Devenue and Sarandon being impossibly beautiful and decadent. I have forged friendships on the basis of that film: "Oh, you rate The Hunger too? Nice."

It makes me goddamn sad to hear that Tony Scott chose to end his own life. It saddens me that he had come to a point in his life when suicide became a viable option.

.
posted by kariebookish at 1:50 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


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posted by Smart Dalek at 1:57 AM on August 20, 2012


His films were ridiculous. In a genuinely great way. I'll miss his brand of madness.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:18 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Reportedly a man who only needed three hours of sleep each night, he awoke to three cups of black coffee and a large Monte Cristo, the first — of 12 — of the day."

Does he mean Monte Cristo or does he mean Montecristo? Because either way, holy shit that guy must have had the constitution of a goddamn Viking!

.
posted by biddeford at 2:46 AM on August 20, 2012 [16 favorites]


I am somewhat relieved to know that the man did not eat 12 fried ham and cheese sandwiches a day, a relief that does little to quell the sadness I'm feeling towards his death. His films were a riot - I've enjoyed each and every one of them. He made it ok to like flashy action movies, because he injected a signature brand of craziness into them that pushed them into territory other lesser directors feared to tread.
posted by item at 2:59 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


68 is a good run. I'd be happy to live that long

The hell it is. I'll mightily pissed off if I only have another twenty years to go.

. I wasn't always a big fan of his flashy style of film-making but he was a hell of a talent and again 68 is way way too young to go.
posted by octothorpe at 3:56 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've worked on the last four Tony Scott movies. My professional career in post-production started with Domino, which is a fascinating film to me. It averages something like more than one cut per second, which is insane. The colors are nothing short of extreme, burning images like fire.

Here's what I have stuck in my head: I remember when Johnny Cash died and there was an interview with his daughter and she was saying that Johnny was a perfect example of how the aging artist should be. Someone who stays true to himself despite everything. I've never thought of it in those terms before, but I think that's what I liked about Tony Scott. He stayed true to himself. He found his voice and then just ran with it. He stuck to his story, all the way from a faded pink cap and little shorts to crazy action sequences and graphic violence. He was never going to apologize for being himself and making the movies he was going to make. I honestly believe he would have made the same movies regardless of box office numbers, regardless of critics' responses.

Recently, I've seen movies that have made me ask, "Why didn't they just get the real Tony Scott to direct this?" and I'm sad that's not ever going to be an option anymore.

This is truly shocking and confusing news. My deepest sympathies go out to the Scott family.
posted by dogwalker at 3:57 AM on August 20, 2012 [28 favorites]


And the visual coherence of the Top Gun dogfights was better than solid.

To me this was his great strength as a director. All of his action scenes have that visual coherence. At any one time you know exactly where every character is in relation to the action, which is so so important. Contrast this with the work of a hack like Michael Bay (whose visual style is in my view a complete rip-off of Tony Scott's), in which I often find myself thinking "wait, how did that guy get over there?" or just "er, what?", and Scott's gifts as an action director become even clearer to see.
posted by jonnyploy at 4:02 AM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


because the moment the idea that suicide could ever be a good or right or moral choice is introduced to the conversation, someone says something like that--judgmental, condescending, insulting, and hurtful to people who believe that it can be,, given specific circumstances.

Heaven forbid somebody's tragic death prompt a difficult discussion about the bigger issues that affect us all. Somebody's feelings might get hurt.

Thanks for The Hunger and Top Gun. You can ride my tail any time.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:06 AM on August 20, 2012



I need to throw out some love for Days of Thunder. My favorite movie in the genre of "Tom Cruise is the best at what he does (and he does it while looking pretty.)"

Sorry to see you go, Tony.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:35 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


RIP. Aside from The Hunger I can't think of any of his films that I like, in fact I disliked a lot of them. But still, he had a style as a filmmaker.
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:01 AM on August 20, 2012


Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, and Spy Game are among the class of "movies I have to stop and watch if I notice they are on cable."

.
posted by Cocodrillo at 5:01 AM on August 20, 2012


I'll come.right out and say it; I think Tony Scott was a better artist and film maker than his brother. There's a coherence to Tony's movies that Ridley's often misses. Ridley is really good at putting Really Neat Visuals on a movie screen but can struggle (at times) to make them work as a story. Tony Scott had the same ability with Really Neat Visuals but always made sure they served the story (or at least made sure the story served his visuals). I don't think there's anyone in Cinema who had a better understanding of how action movies work than Tony Scott.

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posted by KingEdRa at 5:01 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Poor man. He had some serious skill and style. I'm sorry he was driven to this by whatever his internal demons did.

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posted by rmd1023 at 5:06 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by dbiedny at 5:07 AM on August 20, 2012


wtf??????
christ.



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posted by Thorzdad at 5:07 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 5:09 AM on August 20, 2012


:( I loved a lot of his movies, what a great sense of style and timing.
posted by biscotti at 5:14 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by tilde at 5:19 AM on August 20, 2012


I just used Google Earth to go to the center of the Vincent Thomas bridge, then used street view to stand on that bridge and have a look around at what Mr. Scott saw in his final moments.

Now I feel sick at my stomach and weak-kneed, and I'm sitting at a desk.

I don't know what drove this intelligent and talented man to do what he did, but it had to have been unbearable.

.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:20 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


.


Prometheus was bad, but that was his brother's movie; it was no indication that his own career was on the outs.
posted by vhsiv at 5:20 AM on August 20, 2012


I always fondly remember The Hunger for introducing me to the best-ever arrangement of Schubert's Trio in E-flat by Howard Blake, played by Ralph Holmes, Raphael Wallfisch and Howard Shelley.
posted by raygirvan at 5:31 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Im going to pretend he was out shooting some b-roll of wildlife and accidentally filmed something terrifying act of public corruption. At this moment Gene Hackman is blowing up his safe house because Will Smith made a phone call, again.

The alternative is just too sad.
posted by humanfont at 5:33 AM on August 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


Enemy Of The State and Crimson Tide stand out for me (It's also a reminder that it's tough to think of any film that Gene Hackman's been in that hasn't been improved by his presence).

But The Last Boy Scout has to get a special recommendation. Here's probably the last of the over-the-top 80s-styled blockbuster - and probably the last decent Bruce Willis action flick. It's ridiculous and implausible. It lacks the style and mood of Tony Scott's later films, but still remains highly entertaining.
posted by panboi at 5:42 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Definitely best known and loved for True Romance if you were a film geek in the 1990s who'd had your mind blown by Reservoir Dogs, and couldn't wait for more Tarantino. I think Ivan Fyodorovich's comment about the writing and direction complimenting one another is spot-on.

A friend working at a theater at the time said lots of little old ladies would come to see a matinee of True Romance, having seen it on the marquis and thinking it sounded nice. Most of them would ask for their money back right around the time Clarence confronts Drexel.

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posted by usonian at 6:01 AM on August 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


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Negative, Ghost Rider. The pattern is full.
posted by DigDoug at 6:09 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 6:16 AM on August 20, 2012


A few weeks ago my grandmother sort of witnessed a suicide -- a fellow tenant of her senior housing facility jumped off the roof and landed right below grandma's balcony. We found out later that the lady who jumped had just received some really bad news about her already failing health, on top of some bad financial news, and she just... I don't know, I guess she hit her saturation point of misery and did the only thing she could think of to do. It came as a huge shock to her family and to her church community, as they were by all accounts a pretty tight-knit bunch. (Family and church community both.)

I don't know if finding out that Mr. Scott had some major health problems would make this easier to accept. I've been on both sides of this one -- I've had significant suicidal impulses before, and I've lost people I loved to suicide. I don't think that there's anything that makes it "easier" to deal with, or more palatable, or whatever. It just fucking sucks. And the really twisted thing is, even though I know how much it sucks to be the person or people left behind to cope with the aftermath... that still never quite removes it from my mental bag of options. I can't really use suicide as an option for myself because I promised an important person that I wouldn't do it as long as they're alive, but... man. Sometimes, when things are bad, it's like a little mental safety valve: I could always check out. People would get over it, more quickly than they realize. Even though I know that's not actually true, there's probably someone in my life who wouldn't ever get over me doing something like that... it's so easy to listen to the darker parts of my brain. So I don't let myself listen. But I think I understand, to a certain extent, how other people listen to those parts of their own brains, and decide to follow through.

My thoughts are with his family and friends. I hope they're getting the help and care they need right now.

(Also, damn, I loved The Last Boy Scout. Probably more than True Romance, to be honest.)

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posted by palomar at 6:19 AM on August 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


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posted by Renoroc at 6:24 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by shakespeherian at 6:26 AM on August 20, 2012


Until the actual reason becomes public, maybe it's better to leave the intimations at the door on this one.

Here's a vote for the actual reason not being any of the public's business.

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posted by Ironmouth at 6:26 AM on August 20, 2012 [11 favorites]


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posted by strangememes at 6:38 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by koucha at 6:44 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:44 AM on August 20, 2012


I loved his films. Goodbye, sir.

Depression is a different reality when you are in it. Forgive the paste, but this letter from Stephen Fry to a depressed fan has always stuck with me, because the metaphor works for me when I'm inside a bad bout of it. We can't control the weather, but we can recognize it, wear a poncho, and be ready for when it is sunny again, damn it.

April 10, 2006

Dear Crystal,

I'm so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I'm not sure there's any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it's sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don't love yourself that much.

I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:

Here are some obvious things about the weather:

It's real.
You can't change it by wishing it away.
If it's dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can't alter it.
It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.

BUT

It will be sunny one day.
It isn't under one's control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
One day.

It really is the same with one's moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. They are real. Depression, anxiety, listlessness - these are as real as the weather - AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE'S CONTROL. Not one's fault.

BUT

They will pass: they really will.

In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. "Today's a crap day," is a perfectly realistic approach. It's all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. "Hey-ho, it's raining inside: it isn't my fault and there's nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage."

I don't know if any of that is of any use: it may not seem it, and if so, I'm sorry. I just thought I'd drop you a line to wish you well in your search to find a little more pleasure and purpose in life.

Very best wishes

(Signed)

Stephen Fry

posted by lazaruslong at 6:48 AM on August 20, 2012 [69 favorites]


Heaven forbid somebody's tragic death prompt a difficult discussion about the bigger issues that affect us all. Somebody's feelings might get hurt.

Except for the part where that's neither what I said nor what I clearly meant, sure.

I don't know what drove this intelligent and talented man to do what he did

Because talented, intelligent people never kill themselves. I'm sure you'd be equally moved to write "I can't imagine what drove this average, regular man to do what he did" at the news of the suicide of someone you considered of average intelligence and no particular talent.
posted by tzikeh at 6:54 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by jlbartosa at 7:12 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by Obscure Reference at 7:20 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by Iridic at 7:21 AM on August 20, 2012


mountaineer dies after fall
posted by Akeem at 7:30 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by Ber at 7:34 AM on August 20, 2012


Reading the IMDB bio, Tony Scott was massively busy at the end of his life. He created bold movies, lots of them. He was a risk taker, who loved feeling on the edge and a high energy person with his rock climbing, driving fast cars, rugby, heavy cigar smoking habit all on top of his packed work schedule.

I wanted to see the bridge from which he made his Final Exit, The Vincent Thomas Bridge. He must have given the place of his deliberate death some thought. "The clear height of the navigation channel is approximately 185-foot (60 m)."

What is the highest cliff you can jump off into water without dying?

"Throughout the bridge's construction and in the early years after its opening, it was derided [by whom?] as a "bridge to nowhere". In the 1970s, however, its importance drastically increased as the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach displaced those of the San Francisco Bay Area as the principal port on the U.S. West Coast. Today, the Vincent Thomas Bridge carries a considerable volume of truck traffic from the southernmost slips of the Port of Los Angeles, in San Pedro, onto the Terminal Island Freeway and eventually to the southern end of the Long Beach Freeway; from there, freight goes from the port complex to the rail yards of East Los Angeles and the Inland Empire."

That he jumped from this bridge without hesitation, seems in keeping with his character. I respect his decision to die the way he did, his way.

My tender condolences to his wife, Donna, sons, Max, Frank, to his brother, Ridley, to all those who loved him and were his friends.
posted by nickyskye at 7:37 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think it's fascinating how much stealthy cultural influence Top Gun wound up having. I honestly can't think of another movie with so many lines that have propagated into the wider culture as shit people just say without even necessarily trying to quote the movie: "I feel the need for speed," "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," "your ego's writing checks that your body can't cash," and so on. I don't know. Anybody who made a movie that worked its way so thoroughly into the consciousness of 300 million people did something right.
posted by COBRA! at 7:44 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Did the idea of a "wingman" even exist before Top Gun?
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 7:59 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by cazoo at 8:06 AM on August 20, 2012


I'm always amazed when super successful people commit suicide.

Gets me every time also. I always think if I was prettier/richer/lived somewhere with better weather I would be happier. Evidently not.

But if you think that having made a bunch of movies and money would make suicide incomprehensible to you, then you don't know from mental illness, and you're very very lucky.

Not incomprehensible, but based on Tony Scott's work he never struck me as the most melancholic of chaps. Maybe that could have been what haunted him. Despite his wealth he was eluded by critical success. Who knows. Anyways...

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posted by Damienmce at 8:15 AM on August 20, 2012


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posted by lord_wolf at 8:18 AM on August 20, 2012


tzikeh: "But if you think that having made a bunch of movies and money would make suicide incomprehensible to you, then you don't know from mental illness, and you're very very lucky."

Or it just means your experience with mental illness has been unique to yourself and those close to you, and when something like this happens to an artist and celebrity to whom you are familiar, you find yourself, even in someone else's pain, trying to make a little bit of sense of it talking about your own experiences rather than making grand, sweeping statements about others.

It's the difference between in making an "I" statement when discussing mental health issues and making a "you" statement about other people. I only feel qualified talking about myself.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:35 AM on August 20, 2012


Caught Unstoppable on HBO by accident and loved it. The movie world lost a light.

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posted by Mental Wimp at 8:51 AM on August 20, 2012


ABC News has a source close to the family who reports Tony Scott had inoperable brain cancer.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:16 AM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not to mention producing The Good Wife. Damn.

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posted by Beardman at 10:37 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just watched Mr. Scott's first short movie, One of the Missing. A spoiler, it's about someone who kills themselves when trapped in an unworkable situation. This film, when seen now,is either ironic or prophetic. But, I wouldn't be surprised if he thought of it recently.
posted by Xurando at 10:47 AM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't usually remember the specific director of films after I've seen them so reading the ones listed here, it's just one damn after another. The BMW shorts? Aw hell. Here's another, Deja Vu.

I've always thought that Top Gun was responsible for rehabilitating the military's image after the debacle of Viet Nam and made it acceptable, even sexy, to enlist.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 11:12 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fuck cancer.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:15 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Damn.

Having seen firsthand what brain cancer does -- it's not pleasant -- I can certainly understand his choice. Only he and his family know if it was the 'right' decision (if such a thing exists in this situation), but there is certainly much to be said for exiting on your own terms in the face of such a nasty, grueling future.

I wish him and his loved ones well.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:30 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


ABC News has a source close to the family who reports Tony Scott had inoperable brain cancer.

Shit.

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Again.
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I read his biography today I suspected it was less about depression and more about the impact of his 12 cigar a day habit, the effect that might have on his body. However, it is not usual for cigars to be connected with brain cancer. Perhaps the cancer was already metastatic?

Euthanizing himself any other way may have felt not his style? It makes total sense to me that if the prognosis of the brain cancer were inoperable, that it would be in keeping with the way he lived his life, the vision of his films, that he would make the choice to take control of his own Final Exit in the way he did.
posted by nickyskye at 11:35 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


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True Romance is still one of my favourite films
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:45 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps it was a glioblastoma. Those damned things (I mean that literally) are many times considered inoperable-and almost always considered d.o.d (dead on diagnosis.) I know personally of two people who have died of it, know of a friend of a friend who right this minute is dying of it, and all I can say is, I may not agree with this man's choice but I sure as heck understand it.

I would not wish brain cancer on my worst enemy. (I wouldn't wish severe depression on my worst enemy either. That I HAVE experienced. Again, may not agree with a choice of suicide in that case but again, certainly have no trouble at all understanding it.)

May his family be able to find some semblance of peace somewhere in all this.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 11:47 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I find it deeply troubling the way so many people immediately assume that ending one's own life must necessarily be the irrational act of a someone who is "mentally ill"
posted by crayz at 11:49 AM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Terrible director of terrible films. The only thing he did that I liked was True Romance, which was only good because it was a Tarantino script and it had every cool actor then living in it. It would have been a much better film if they had let Tarantino direct it himself.

But most of his stuff was absolute dreck. His suicide doesn't change that.

R.I.P.
posted by Max Udargo at 11:56 AM on August 20, 2012


I find it deeply troubling the way so many people immediately assume that ending one's own life must necessarily be the irrational act of a someone who is "mentally ill"

Really? I think it's very understandable that people want something that causes such pain to other people to be an irrational act.
posted by smackfu at 12:00 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


What I love most of all about Tony Scott was how he made Hollywood movies with personality. Love it or hate it, there was a Tony Scott style. Love or hate some of his choices with regard to, say, Man On Fire, such as the super dynamic subtitles and the heavy use of NIN remixes, but that is a movie made with style and personality, not some generic cookie cutter job.

(By the way, the original, non-Scott Man On Fire is a terrible, clunky movie.)
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:04 PM on August 20, 2012


Fuck cancer.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:15 AM on August 20 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Anyone who feels this way, if you haven't already you should write your congressional delegation and let them know that we need to divert funding from things that aren't killing large numbers of people (e.g., TSA, anti-terrorism wars, voter ID initiatives) to things that really are (cancer, heart disease, HIV, traffic accidents). We have the resources to do much better in the latter arena, especially if we stop the inordinate spending in the former.
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:17 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hell yeah. I've been lucky twice: I've had cancer twice and both times managed to get over it with just surgery - no chemo or radiation. I am definitely all over efficient use of funds for actually productive things vs theatrical bs.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:20 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Max Udargo: "But most of his stuff was absolute dreck. His suicide doesn't change that.

R.I.P.
"
You know that old saying, "If you don't have something nice to say..." ?
posted by cavalier at 12:26 PM on August 20, 2012 [7 favorites]


Film Crit Hulk: NEVER HATE A DIRECTOR
posted by brundlefly at 12:36 PM on August 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


I just re-watched Man on Fire, hoping to like it more than I had previously. It gets really epileptic towards the end. I am reminded of a comedian who criticized the American ethos for being like blinking lights on a Christmas tree: all show and no substance.

Wheeler Winston Dixon, in his incendiary essay “25 Reasons Why It’s All Over” from the aptly named anthology The End of Cinema as We Know It, reflects a common bias that the postclassical is a symptom of decline and decay:

"The classical shot structure employed by four generations of filmmakers has been abandoned for a scattershot explosion of images, with arbitrarily shifting colors, frame sizes, film stocks, video and film images intermixed, rapid cutting — anything to keep the viewer momentarily dazzled. The courage to hold on to a close-up of an actor’s face, the patience to build up a mood through a lengthy establishing sequence (as in Clouzot’s Wages of Fear, 1953), the faith that classical directors had in the audience’s ability and willingness to follow them through a slowly developing and complex narrative — all these qualities are things of the past. Instant audience capture with a violent opening, regular does of violence and brutality thereafter (or ruthless sentimentality), and a cutting style that resembles nothing so much as a bored insomniac maniacally channel-surfing at 3 A.M., desperately searching for some image to hang on to — these are the hallmarks of the new cinema, where the viewer cannot be left unattended for a second."

I mean, the man is no Kubrick, Scorcese or Coppola. But there remains something distinctly American about his work, a powerful mythology that rises above the sum of the parts. R.I.P.
posted by phaedon at 1:33 PM on August 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, poor guy. I feel so bad for his kids, too.

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posted by BibiRose at 1:35 PM on August 20, 2012


1) Fuck Cancer.

2) To be clear, none of us knew (and I said from the start that I didn't know) whether the impetus for the suicide was depression, and so we were all talking in hypotheticals w/r/t depression and suicide, and not saying that Tony Scott committed suicide==Tony Scott suffered from mental illness.

So I really want to address this:
I find it deeply troubling the way so many people immediately assume that ending one's own life must necessarily be the irrational act of a someone who is "mentally ill" -- crayz at 1:49 PM on August 20
The choice to commit suicide can be entirely rational, regardless of whether the suicide is depressed. There's no reason to put scare quotes around "mentally ill" any more than one would put scare quotes around "inoperable brain cancer."
posted by tzikeh at 1:56 PM on August 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


> Just watched Mr. Scott's first short movie, One of the Missing...

Watching The Hunger now. John's (David Bowie) sudden mortality has that same resonaance. One day, he was a beautiful 30-something looking vampire, clubbing with his French beard, and the next day he's a stooped-over old man, staring death in the eye.
posted by vhsiv at 2:10 PM on August 20, 2012


> (By the way, the original, non-Scott Man On Fire is a terrible, clunky movie.)

Au contraire, mon ami -- the 1987 Man On Fire was an authentically gritty movie, ESPECIALLY because it was shot in that late '80s European style. Scott Glenn starred.

I enjoyed it more than the Denzel remake, even if Radha Mitchell was in the 2004 version. Also not a fan of Dakota Fanning.
posted by vhsiv at 2:23 PM on August 20, 2012


"I really love The Hunger, I suspect that many would think it's hollywood trash and maybe it is but I really like it."

Keep in mind that Tony Scott was British, and The Hunger was one of his first films. It was filmed mostly in the UK, with bits of it filmed in NYC. It's really a very stylish film.

The opening sequence is masterful. Aggressive. Artistic. Bold. Who knew that a director could get so much, visually, from a trickle of blood flowing down a sink.
posted by markkraft at 2:30 PM on August 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Notable UK locations from The Hunger:
John and Miriam's House. 6 Chesterfield Gardens, London
Heaven Nightclub, Villiers Street, Charing Cross, London
Park West Clinic interior, filmed in Senate House, University of London
posted by markkraft at 2:46 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Something interesting from the Film Crit Hulk piece on Scott that I didn't know is that he produced The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I think that alone redeems all of his clunkers.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:54 PM on August 20, 2012


Sad to hear this. I enjoyed many of this films.

I would agree that Top Gun has to be what he is most known for, but I enjoyed a lot of his movies.

I am one of those peoples who realize movies can serve many purposes. There are movies that are works of art. There are compelling movies. And there are movies that are designed for simple base entertainment. Yeah, Tony Scott's films fell in that latter category, but I doubt he presumed them to be anything more than that. I fail to see why you criticize his films for being fluff when that is all they ever presumed to be.

There is enough room in film to love Bicycle Thieves and Citizen Kane for their artistic mastery of the medium, while also enjoying the often-funny, over-the-top silliness of The Last Boy Scout. A movie like that wants to entertain with action and funny dialogue, and that's all it intends to do. There's nothing wrong with complimenting fluff.

You can enjoy a beach-book novel even though it never reaches the level of Hamlet.

Tony Scott gave me some hours of entertainment in my life, and for that I thank him.
posted by dios at 4:01 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy shit. In one way or another, he had a hand in a lot of movies that were a part of my childhood (and I'v never even seen Top Gun). RIP.
posted by Toby Dammit X at 4:09 PM on August 20, 2012


True Romance may be his best, but sometimes I think I'm the only champion of Crimson Tide. The standoff(s) between Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman is worth the lesser parts of the script.

Loved Crimson Tide. Two of my favorite actors going head to head. Feel very sad that such a bright flame has been snuffed out :(

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posted by UseyurBrain at 4:18 PM on August 20, 2012


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posted by limeonaire at 5:21 PM on August 20, 2012


crayz: "I find it deeply troubling the way so many people immediately assume that ending one's own life must necessarily be the irrational act of a someone who is "mentally ill".

Most of the time, that's the case. It isn't unreasonable for people to, in general, think that a terrible thing that most of the time they hear about it is associated with depression is the same issue this time. I think you know that, so what are you really saying here?

Also, the two aren't mutually exclusive. We don't know the facts of the story as regards his motivations, you are right. But we loved the work this person gave the world, and this person's death saddens us, so we try and find meaning and tools to understand it. If we grasp onto what is likely, that is human, not troubling. To me.

So what do you mean?
posted by lazaruslong at 5:21 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


TMZ: Wife says Scott did not have brain cancer or any other major medical condition
posted by Bwithh at 6:18 PM on August 20, 2012


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posted by ZeusHumms at 9:16 PM on August 20, 2012


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A great loss. I've never disliked a movie he's made.

Crimson Tide especially is a rare, near-perfect movie; a smart, rapid-fire screenplay paced with such a clear and expert rhythm, each beat coming just before you're ready for it – confidently and flawlessly directed, with Scott drawing rousing and sometimes unforgettable performances from the whole spectrum of the cast, even from characters with only a couple of minutes of screen time. Not a single shot is squandered. When the camera finally resurfaces from the depths, you feel like you've been holding your breath the entire time. That's pure cinema.

Requiescat in pace.
posted by churl at 1:06 AM on August 21, 2012


re:The Hunger (1983) -- Even though Ridley made a bigger commercial splash with The Duellists back in 1977, Tony started out on the Art circuit -- those opening credits to The Hunger scream '80s subculture -- New Wave, Punk, Bauhaus at a near perfect pitch. If Goth didn't exist before The Hunger, it was certainly an established genree by the time that the film was released.

(Ironically, there are no Goth protagonists in The Hunger.)

Ir's just sort of funny that Tony started out as the artsy guy and ended up a consummate commercial filmmaker.
posted by vhsiv at 6:42 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


hippybear: "68 is a good run. I'd be happy to live that long. I'd hope I'd have the courage to exit if it seemed appropriate at that age."

Yeah, that's my dad's age, okay? And he'd better live another 100 fucking years is all I'm saying.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:05 AM on August 21, 2012 [7 favorites]


So what do you mean?

What I mean is, I see a lot of old people dying very very badly, "letting nature take it's course", along with medicine's foot slammed down on the brakes, over a period years of dementia and/or days/weeks slowly withering away as a half-corpse in a hospital bed. Because of a feeling that letting someone semiconsciously starve to death as their organs shut down is preferable to taking control of our fates

We have an incredible fucked up relationship with death, and we are doing an increasingly shitty job of having good deaths, and I think the the stigma of suicide is no small part of this. I wouldn't want to use the bridge method, but it's still far better than than the way many/most of people who make it past 80 meet their end

The fact that most of the time suicides are depressed people doesn't prove that our stigmatization, assumptions of mental illness/a priori invalidity of the choice, aren't contributing to far a larger form of human suffering - i.e. leading to millions of people to keep their selves or even just their bodies alive well past the point when life has value
posted by crayz at 7:56 AM on August 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


#fuckcancer



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posted by liza at 1:55 PM on August 21, 2012


Edgar Wright: The Great Tony Scott
posted by Artw at 2:12 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Making him one drop in the vast epidemic of male suicide. Women outnumber men in mental illness diagnoses, but male rates exceed multiples of female rates consistently among cultures -- 4 to 10 is a commonly quoted number. This should be one of the top public health initiatives in developed and almost-developed countries.
posted by syntaxfree at 3:35 PM on August 21, 2012


(I should second the stories above about being suicidal at a moment of particular success. I had cyclical, quite sharp suicidal ideation -- tragicomically coinciding with my euphoric manic periods -- for most of my post-college life. The monster finally shut up when we ran out of anticonvulsants and antipsychotics to try, bit the bullet and got me on lithium. Shrinks often suck, but psychiatry saves lives)

Whether it's a good thing that I'm still alive and intent on making through this year if it kills me, I'll let my biographers decide.
posted by syntaxfree at 3:50 PM on August 21, 2012


Just found out about this now.

True Romance is one of my favorite movies of all time. I'm not sure it's right for the FPP, as Tony Scott will always be better-known for Top Gun, and True Romance will probably always be remembered as a Tarantino script first, and a Tony Scott movie as a distant second,but I think he made it work in a way that Tarantino's direction might not have.

Now I adore Tarantino. I'm a hold-out like few are. But I think Tony Scott was exactly the right director for that script at a time when Tarantino wasn't yet.

I'm not going to pretend that Tony Scott was a great director, and I never knew him or worked on any project of his, but I was taught by Tony Gilroy, who wrote the script for Enemy of the State, and his words on Scott were that he didn't have any respect for the man until the meeting when Tony Scott came in with a shitload of storyboards for all of the action sequences, and Gilroy finally got what Scott was authoritative at. The man knew action.

Tarantino grew up at the altar of schlock, and Tony Scott was a master of it, in the best possible meaning. I'll remember him if only for being a Hollywood action filmmaker who sought out the best possible scripts and damn the consequences.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:37 PM on August 21, 2012


crayz: "What I mean is, I see a lot of old people dying very very badly, "letting nature take it's course", along with medicine's foot slammed down on the brakes, over a period years of dementia and/or days/weeks slowly withering away as a half-corpse in a hospital bed. Because of a feeling that letting someone semiconsciously starve to death as their organs shut down is preferable to taking control of our fates

We have an incredible fucked up relationship with death, and we are doing an increasingly shitty job of having good deaths, and I think the the stigma of suicide is no small part of this. I wouldn't want to use the bridge method, but it's still far better than than the way many/most of people who make it past 80 meet their end

The fact that most of the time suicides are depressed people doesn't prove that our stigmatization, assumptions of mental illness/a priori invalidity of the choice, aren't contributing to far a larger form of human suffering - i.e. leading to millions of people to keep their selves or even just their bodies alive well past the point when life has value
"

Thank you for clarifying. I completely agree with you on our fucked up relationship with death, and the need to destigmatize suicide as a legitimate and honorable choice w/r/t end-of-life decisions. I guess my sticking point was the reaction of assumptive depressive factors contributing to suicide as deeply troubling. I think the issues you describe are deeply troubling, but the natural human tendency to pattern seek for meaning in events seems par for the course and doesn't bother me.

That said, good points.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:41 AM on August 22, 2012


Films on fire: Tony Scott and Christopher Nolan
posted by brundlefly at 12:36 AM on September 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


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