BBC1 on 13th October 1992
Documentary profile of film director Ridley Scott. The programme traces Scott’s career from West Hartlepool Art School to the Royal College of Art to the BBC, where he worked as a designer and later director on programmes such as SOFTLY SOFTLY and ADAM ADAMANT LIVES! (extract shown). He then moved into advertising, his most celebrated work being the Hovis advertisements – works of his shown include films for Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers “Stowaway” (1969), Hovis “Bike Ride” and Apple Computers “1984” (1983). His brother Tony Scott also talks about his work in commercials, and how he took over the direction of the Hovis adverts when Ridley moved into features. After such work and the BFI-produced BOY AND BICYCLE (1965) made with his brother Tony (extracts shown), he then moved into feature film direction: extracts shown from THE DUELLISTS (1977), ALIEN (1979), BLADE RUNNER (1982), SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (1987), BLACK RAIN (1989), THELMA & LOUISE (1991) and his most recent film, shown in production, 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1992). Ridley Scott’s direction of the film LEGEND (1985) is not considered in the programme. Various interviewees comment on his working methods, his flashes of temper, and his mastery of screen visuals. The contributors to the programme include Susan Sarandon, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, David Puttnam, Gerard Depardieu, Iain Smith, Stephen Crowther (a teacher from West Hartlepool Art School), Tony Scott, ad executive Barry Day, Keith Carradine, sons Jake and Luke Scott, H.R. Giger, Mimi Rogers, Andy Garcia, Callie Khouri, Geena Davis and BBC set designer Jeffrey Kirkland. Continue reading
Boy and Bicycle is the first film made by Ridley Scott. The black and white short was made on 16mm film while Scott was a photography student at the Royal College of Art in London in 1962.
Although a very early work – Scott would not direct his first feature for another 15 years – the film is significant in that it features a number of visual elements that would be become motiffs of Scotts work. The film features the cooling towers of the Imperial Chemical Industries works at Billingham, foreshadowing images in Alien, Blade Runner and Black Rain. The central element of the Boy and the Bicycle is re-used in Scott’s advert for Hovis of the early 1970s. The film features Scott’s younger brother Tony Scott as the boy.
Scott secured finance from the British Film Institute to complete the editing and sound in 1965 including a track by John Barry called “Onward Christian Spacemen” which originally appeared as the “b” side of the theme to the television series “The Human Jungle” .
Scott wanted to use the existing recording by Barry, but the composer was so impressed by the young film maker he agreed to produce a new recording for the film at limited cost. Continue reading
Blade Runner: The Final Cut is much closer in content and tone to the 1992 director’s cut than it is the original 1982 theatrical release. Purists who liked the narration will be disappointed to know that all of it is gone, even the bit near the end that was found in some later versions of the film. Also missing are some of the film’s more sloppy special effects moments, now cleaned up and enhanced courtesy of digital effects. Gone are all the wires that were visible in earlier versions, as well as the obvious stunt double substituting for Joanna Cassidy during Zhora’s death scene (Cassidy’s head was digitally superimposed over stunt double Lee Pulford).
The digital effects done to the film are relatively minor, especially when compared to the changes George Lucas has made to the early Star Wars films and THX 1138, and the end result is merely cosmetic. Visually, this most recent version of Blade Runner is a gorgeous masterpiece. Fans who long to hear Ford’s lackluster voice-over, or refuse to accept Deckard as a replicant will be disappointed by Blade Runner: The Final Cut, but everyone else will be pleased. DVDTALK Continue reading