Monday, August 20, 2012

Tony Scott: A Beginning and an End

Tony Scott's THE HUNGER (1983) has one of the most arresting opening sequences of any horror film; it's a masterpiece of cross-cuts, flashbacks and flash-forwards, intense music and ice-cold style, largely without dialogue and so forcing us to pay close attention to visual codes, plunging us immediately into the deep end of an amoral, self-interested world where vampires are the victims, the victors and the evening's entertainment. "Bela Lugosi's Dead," sings Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, but it was actually Tony Scott himself throwing down a gauntlet on the floor of vampire cinema in general. Pictured: Ann Magnuson and David Bowie turning up the heat in this very chilly sequence.
Tony Scott -- whose other films as a director include the Quentin Tarantino-scripted TRUE ROMANCE (whose scene between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper is commonly cited as one of the very finest of the last 25 years) and the era-defining TOP GUN -- took his life last night by jumping off the Vincent Thomas suspension bridge into Los Angeles harbor, having left a suicide note behind in his parked car. He was 68. My heart goes out to his wife and children, and to his friends and co-workers past and present (some of you perhaps among them) as we all reel from the suddenness and mystery of this terrible event.

1 comment:

  1. I once taught "The Hunger" in a film class, and still regard the picture as an incredible exercise in style. It's hard to believe it's been nearly thirty years since the movie first cast its spell on me. Mr. Scott will be missed.


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