Saying Goodbye to Tony Scott

By August 22, 2012
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Most “breaking news” on the Internet normally has a life expectancy of about 24-hours before people stop caring.

I am pleased to see that most people have treated the tragic death of legendary filmmaker, Tony Scott, with respect and nostalgia remembering their favorite movies or scenes. Despite the devastating subject, the response is a welcomed and delightful change. Is it a respect for the classic films that Scott has been a part of? Maybe it’s the fact that he is one of the few directors that did not seek a lot of media attention? Either way, people are devastated and on the Internet, that can be a good thing.

Film critic, Scott Weinberg put it best when he tweeted, “I think it’s very touching that film fanatics get upset over the death of someone they’ve never met. It speaks to the innate beauty of art.”

A few of the most vocal public figures that are still talking about Tony Scott are Edgar Wright and Joe Carnahan. Below are some of Joe’s last comments on Twitter. They read as a man who lost a father or his favorite uncle.

I personally had the pleasure of working as a producer on NARC, with Joe. Love him or hate him, he is extremely passionate about his movies and when not influenced by big studio budgets, you can see a beautiful, traditional style of filmmaking in his craft – I have to assume, or at least hope, that Tony had a big influence on Joe’s filmmaking during “The Grey.” Either way, Tony clearly had an influence on him and is taking the news of Tony’s suicide extremely difficult, as any normal person would regarding the death of a friend.

TMZ is now reporting that Tony’s wife says rumors of inoperable brain cancer is “absolutely false” and had no “other severe medical issues that would have caused him to take his own life”. We spoke to a friend that works at RSA (Ridley Scott and Associates) who was in pre-production on Tony’s next commercial he was directing and we were told unequivocally that Mr. Scott was ill. One thing is for certain, Tony was in pain. A pain that robbed us of an amazing director that still had a lot of beautiful filmmaking left in him.

In all my study of Mr. Scott, I find one word very strange about the way some people choose to describe Tony and his filmmaking: “imperfect.” What kind of word is that to describe a filmmaker with such classics under his belt? Were films like Top Gun, True Romance and Man on Fire, “imperfect?” If Tony was “imperfect”, then what is perfect? Yes, no one lights a set as perfect as Spielberg. Is that a good thing? To me, the “imperfections” in a film are what make a film…not perfect lighting and certainly not CGI. It was the way he created a scene; from giving every teenage boy the desire to buy crotch-rocket and join the Navy…to making every college kid want to smoke a bowl from a honey bear or “go get pie”, Tony Scott delivered.

So, if “imperfect” is a way of describing an amazing director, then ok, I’ll bite. As a tribute to Mr. Scott, here are three imperfect scenes from three of Tony’s most imperfect movies. Enjoy!

Torture scene in Man On Fire, starring Denzel Washington, where he takes revenge on the corrupt cop that kidnapped the girl he was supposed to protect (2004).

 

 

Amazing dialogue from Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper. From the movie True Romance (1993).

 

A dogfight from Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer and Anthony Edwards in addition to a ton of other actors that become stars within the next several years (1986).

“Requesting a flyby for Tony Scott.” – Jeremy Smith