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Entries in Ridley Scott (26)

Tuesday
Jun072016

Halt & Blade Runner

Jason from MNPP here with a quite happy bit of new news - we've been a little on the wary side of the Blade Runner sequel. Even as excellent stuff was announced - Harrison Ford returning is excellent stuff! And we're probably bigger fans of director Denis Villeneuve as of this moment in time than we are of Ridley Scott as of this moment in time (that's our way of saying if we were talking about "Ridley Scott as of the 1980s" it would be a different story). These are all net positives! 

And yet we're wary. We're talking about Blade Runner here! The film that basically built the entire aesthetic of cinematic dystopia on its slick neon-in-the-rain shoulders. You kind of can't look at any movie set in the future that was made in the past 34 years and not see its influence.

Well today we're a smidge less wary, and we might actually be on our way to excited, because the film's just cast one of our very favorite actresses - Mackenzie Davis from Halt and Catch Fire (which is so underrated it pains my insides) as well as the terrific upcoming thriller Always Shine, which I reviewed from the Tribeca Film Festival (and which she won Best Actress at that same festival for). No word on who she's playing (naturally they're keeping everything tight to the vest) but I get a little giddy picturing her done up a la Daryl Hannah's Pris, I have to say.

Thursday
May262016

Thelma & Louise Pt. 5: Crossing Over

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Pt 1 (Anne Marie & Margaret) 
Pt 2 (Nick Davis) 
Pt 3 (Daniel Crooke)
Pt 4 (Nathaniel R) 

Pt 5 (Finale) by Laurence Barber

It feels awfully daunting to write about the ending of this film, and not just because, as Nathaniel pointed out, ditching the cop who pulled them over isn’t Thelma or Louise’s finest hour. As an Australian who has experienced outback heat, that scene always makes me feel a bit nauseous even if the way their doing away with this discipline daddy is pretty amusing. More logically, they could have made use of his handcuffs to disable him instead, but you have to appreciate that Callie Khouri hasn’t constructed these crimes around what feels like pattern behaviour. Aside from Thelma’s charm assault/armed robbery, their transgressions feel genuinely like two women thinking on their feet.

Also, you catch a glimpse of a shotgun behind him as he trades shades with Louise so I’ve always believed he figured his way out somewhere down the line (shoot the lock, dummy!).

Thelma: Officer, I’m real sorry ‘bout this.”

Louise: I apologise also.”

1:40:00 This aspect of the scene has always spackled over my misgivings about it too. Much has been said and written in recent years about the way women over-apologise, exercising a kind of ingrained cultural deference to male authority. In this scene, however, their apologies become a subversion; the way Sarandon half-heartedly apologises tells us that she’s given up caring about the needs of men in any meaningful way.

Replete with her new Aviators – a hot new look Scott drinks in with a zoom that feels as awed by Sarandon as we do by this point – Louise and Thelma jump back in the Thunderbird and put rubber to the road, the final stage of their road trip stretching out before them. In a brief cut back to the police part of the plot, Harvey Keitel gravely intones, “Dreams will only get you so far, and luck always runs out.” Lighten up, toots...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May262016

A First Look at "Alien: Covenant"

Next summer brings us Ridley Scott's long promised/threatened Prometheus follow-up, Alien: Covenant. Promising to bridge the gap between Prometheus and the original Alien films, we will see the return of Michael Fassbender's android David (with Noomi Rapace's Shaw sitting this one out) and the introduction of a fresh crew of space victims. Our new heroine Katherine Waterston is seen here (in the shadows) in the first look at the film:

The film recently began filming, beating Neill Blomkamp's Ripley-focused installment to the production punch. While Blomkamp has released copious amounts of preproduction artwork to stir interest in his vision, Ridley Scott has kept the details of this iteration under wraps. This first look at least shows the series staying to its moody aesthetic with the hint of danger - is that a fire in the background? Why so chill, Katherine?

If there's another bit of hinting here, it is that Waterston could be more than a Ripley replica. The actress has been quickly making her mark with primo performances recently in Inherent Vice and Queen of Earth, but now she's joining the franchise ranks with this and November's Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It will be interesting to see how see handles the physical demands of the action/horror genre, but her soulful and sad work in Vice and Queen give hope that this badass lady will be more than skin deep. At the very least, we can expect a performance more human, sexy, and believable than what Prometheus offered.

Alien: Covenant opens August 4, 2017.

Wednesday
May252016

Thelma & Louise Pt 4: The Call of the Wild

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Pt 1 (Anne Marie & Margaret) 
Pt 2 (Nick Davis) 
Pt 3 (Daniel Crooke)

Pt 4 by Nathaniel R

When Daniel wrapped up part three, he astutely described the roomful of men watching Thelma's armed robbery on TV as "blockheaded." As loathe as I am to admit it, the other adjective he used, "slack-jawed," is the one that would also apply to me in that scene. It's when I most fully relate to the men in the movie. How can you watch what these women (and actresses) are doing and not be a little dumbstruck?! Although in my case, it's more awestruck than horrifed trepidation about what they're capable of.

1:15:00 In one of the funniest exchanges in the movie, Thelma worries about how fast Louise is driving, their unruly mops whipping around in the wind, both of them reenergized by Thelma's sudden resourcefulness...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May232016

Thelma & Louise, Pt 2: The Venetian Blindside

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

When we left our heroines in Pt 1 of our 25th anniversary lookback at Thelma & Louise, they were fleeing the scene of their (first) crime but Louise needed a cup of coffee and to collect herself. Anne Marie & Margaret, our own superheroine duo in Los Angeles were grappling with the surprise killing of a would be rapist. Was it rage and pride that motivated Louise to shoot after she had already saved Thelma? It certainly provoked audiences but was there any other way to play the film's themes?

Louise is trying to plot their next move when we return to them, just before they jump back in their '66 Thunderbird - Editor

Pt 2 by Nick Davis

Now's not the time to panic. If we panic now, we're done for."

24:50 You could say this is the moment where Thelma and Louise shifts from a movie about two women fleeing some problems, at least temporarily, to two women solving a problem, probably permanently. Sure, I'll run to any movie where two women let their hair down, but I will fucking jet-propel myself to any movie where two or more women join forces to think their way out of a fix.  Well, not Mad Money.  And not The Boss.  Okay, there are exceptions.  But Thelma & Louise is the glorious rule, and this is where the drama of deduction, cognition, mutual examination, and deep self-reflection really kicks into fifth gear.

I should mention that I saw this film in the theater at 14.  Sheltered and naive about sex and violence, I didn't completely understand what rape was--which is to say, I think I learned it here.  I had never had a drink, much less been drunk, or even seen a margarita.  Ironically, the post-shooting moment when Thelma and Louise start spiraling into unknown territory was  when I started to connect with their world and feel common ground with the heroines.  I didn't know from waitressing jobs, fishing trips, honky tonks, convertibles, freeways, mesas, relationship troubles, shitty husbands, hitchhikers, horny moods, pistols, or structural misogyny, but I absolutely related to relying on wits to think your way out of a problem, and disclosing aspects of yourself in how you did so, and concealing parts of yourself at the same time.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May222016

Thelma & Louise Part 1: Girls' Trip, Interrupted

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

Thelma & Louise
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Callie Khouri
Released by MGM on May 24th, 1991
Nominated for Six Oscars

To celebrate the anniversary of this bonafide girls gone wild classic from 1991, Team Experience is revisiting the picture, tag-team style all week long (like we did with Rebecca & Silence of the Lambs, y'all!).

While the film begins in Arkansas, we're taking an alternate route. Grabbing the keys to begin this road trip is our own dazzling female duo over in Los Angeles, Anne Marie and Margaret. - Editor

Pt 1 by Anne Marie and Margaret

Anne Marie: 00:01. Fade in on an opening credit sequence that pulls every single late 80s/early 90s cliche. Heat-baked street? Check. Twanging guitar? Check. Harmonica solo? Check.

Margaret: Based on this alone, I would definitely expect to be watching a serious action-drama about a lovable renegade cop

Anne Marie: I mean, it's in that vein. As Susan Sarandon has pointed out (love this woman, and love how much she talks about this movie), Thelma & Louise basically is an outlaw buddy movie in the vein of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.

01:10 But more on that later. Right now let's talk about HANS ZIMMER WROTE THIS SCORE?!?

Margaret: Hans Zimmer contains multitudes.

Anne Marie: As long as those multitudes contain at least one louder-than-necessary instrument solo. In all seriousness, there is a lot of talent behind Thelma & Louise, which you get to see just in the opening credits roll: Besides our two incredible leading ladies, the incomparable Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, we've got baby Brad Pitt without an ounce of baby fat on him, Harvey Keitel (happy belated birthday!), Michael Madsen, Christopher McDonald, and it's written by Callie Khouri, who would one day give us Nashville. Not the Altman.

Margaret: And never let us forget character actor workhorse Stephen Tobolowsky, who also appears here in compliance with state law. I also often forget that this is a Ridley Scott film. It doesn't have a "Ridley Scott film" kind of place in our cultural discourse, though it's got at least as much pop permanence as Blade Runner. (When was the last time Blade Runner got referenced in a Country radio hit?)

Anne Marie: Definitely.

02:15. Moving on, we introduce Our Fair Heroes. It's actually a great bit of screenwriting, because we learn exactly who each lady is just by this introduction

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan172016

Podcast: Which way will Best Picture & Best Director go? 

Joe, Nick, Katey and Nathaniel gather themselves for their first post-Oscar nomination discussion of the new year. Today, directors, pictures, and a discussion of Oscar's diversity problem. Please join in the conversation in the comments.

40 minutes 
00:01 Intro & Phoenix (for no apparent reason)
02:25 Bridge of Spies and Oscar tastes
04:30 Straight Outta Compton, Creed and Oscar's Diversification Initiatives
18:00 Cinematography and insular Oscar clubs
25:00 Mad Max vs The Martian vs The Revenant... is that good news for Spotlight?  
30;00 The Big Short, Screenplays, Precursors and Early Signs
33:00 Ridley Scott. Who gets Best Director now?

Related Reading For Context:
Joe's 20 Actors of Color List
Nathaniel's #OscarsSoWhite Article
Ridley Scott on "Little Gold Men"
The Revenant's Production Design & Costume Design 
Best Picture Chart 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes soon

Oscar Nomination Reactions - Picture/Director