While “Napoleon”, the new feature film by Ridley Scott, will be broadcast in French cinemas from November 22, focus on the great epics of the career of the British-American filmmaker.
Of the aliensgladiators, women on the run and now Napoleon: the director British-American Ridley Scott, undeniably fond of the great spectacle and its heroes, has established himself as one of the masters of Hollywood epics. A look back at five films that marked his career.
1 “Alien, the Eighth Passenger” (1979)
After The Duelistsa period film about two Napoleonic soldiers that won an award at Cannes in 1977, Ridley Scott’s second feature film amazed the public and won a technical Oscar in 1979. Mixing horror and science fiction, it revolutionized the genre with a Sigourney Weaver as an emaciated warrior who defeats an invading monster.
The scene where this creature, presented as the incarnation of absolute evil, emerges from the body of one of his teammates has become cult. “Simply one of the best scenes in cinema”, estimates the British newspaper The Independent. Ridley Scott subsequently directed two prequels, Prometheus (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017), to this film which inspired an entire saga.
2 “Blade Runner” (1982)
Los Angeles, 2019: young Harrison Ford is a former police officer, a “blade runner” recruited to take down a group of “replicants”, the name given to dissident androids infiltrated in the city. With Blade Runnera free adaptation of a novel by Philippe K. Dick, Ridley Scott signs the first science fiction feature film worthy of the name since 2001, Space Odyssey.
In this extremely crafted universe of anticipation, it projects the atmosphere of the detective film noir of the 1940s. Replicant Roy Batty’s tears-in-the-rain monologue is among the most poignant soliloquies in cinema. “I have seen things that you humans could not believe”…
3 “Thelma and Louise” (1991)
Freedom takes the form of a T-Bird, a large green Ford Thunderbird convertible, in which Thelma, a housewife, and Louise, her friend who works as a waitress, embark. This road trip turns into the run of two ordinary heroines in the great American West. Several times nominated for the Oscars, the film ultimately only won the statuette for best screenplay. Ridley Scott gets it on with Thelma and Louise the first of his three nominations for best director.
4 “Gladiator” (2000)
Awarded five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Russell Crowe, Gladiator mix of peplum and blockbuster film. The reconstructions of the battles in the Colosseum under the Roman Empire, supplemented by digital images, are astonishing.
As in The Duelists, Ridley Scott excels at showing men killing each other. With this film which smashed the box office, Joaquin Phoenix received his first Oscar nomination for his interpretation of Commodus, a perverse and bloodthirsty emperor.
5 “Black Hawk Down” (2001)
Between October 3 and 4, 1993, the Battle of Mogadishu, which occurred in the middle of the civil war, opposed a group of elite American soldiers and militias from different Somali clans. Eighteen Americans and hundreds of Somalis died. First criticized in France as an American propaganda film, The fall of the Black Falcon, Ridley Scott’s first war film, in reality delivers a clinical account of a military debacle.
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