Monday, August 20, 2012
RIP, Tony Scott
Film director and producer Tony Scott stepped off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, California yesterday at noon. His body was fished from the mud beneath three hours later.
His death stunned me. Only last week, I watched and listened to his commentary on Unstoppable, his last released film. It left me with the usual impression that Mr. Scott loved his work and brought the best out of people. In all his behind-the-scenes materials, Scott always came off as jovial and wise and forthcoming.
I wasn't a huge fan of his bigger hits like Top Gun, but I loved many of his films including True Romance (his best, in my opinion), Revenge, and The Hunger. Man on Fire had great pulp elements, too.
Seems he may have had inoperable brain cancer. He left behind two sons and a wife. There has been some on-line criticism of his decision to take his own life. People should consider that no man can walk in another man's shoes. What Mr. Scott did was his decision only, and he's entitled to that. Whatever was plaguing him is plaguing him no more.
Although some of the man's films suffered from style over substance syndrome (I'm looking at you, Domino), Scott was a master craftsman, and, as I've mentioned on this blog before, he managed to bring a great deal of pulp perversion and subversion to Hollywood pedigree films.
After watching any one of his works, I always felt that he gave each project 100% effort. Like many other filmmakers who have toiled in the Hollywood trenches for decades, Scott's work was not showing signs of lethargy. He clearly maintained the energy of his young, artistic self.
Ironically, the bridge he jumped off is the same bridge that William Peterson threw himself off of in William Friedkin's To Live and Die in LA. Peterson survived, because his action is revealed to be a bungee jump. Mr. Scott's action was a permanent one.
I visited the bridge and drove across it early this morning. It was an eerie but important act for me. I'll miss this guy. So will many others, I'm sure.