This article is part of the critical project Tony Scott: A Moving Target in which an analysis of a scene from a Tony Scott film is passed anonymously to the next participant in the project to respond to with an analysis of his or her own.
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To me, this idea that the joy Tony Scott took in directing came from a curiosity and thirst for life seems essential to watching his films. What is cinema if not a window through which to touch worlds we’ve never touched before? What if Scott’s maximalist mise-en-scene, his persistent attempt–through sophisticated montage–to fit the utmost information in the frame, was the only way he knew how to express the combination of fear, adrenaline, and joy that he was always chasing (whether making films or climbing mountains)? Let’s remember what he said of the characters in Domino, “always chasing the dark side of life, always chasing their inner souls.”
The young American filmmakers have nothing to say, said Luc Moullet. It's as true now as it was then, and what Moullet said of Sam Fuller could've been said of Tony Scott: he had something to do, and he did it.
1. Poland, David. "DP/30: Tony Scott," Movie City News, 2012, http://moviecitynews.com/2012/08/dp30-tony-scott/
2. Kundera, Milan. Slowness, Harper-Collins, 1996, p. 2.
3. Jean Renoir parle de son art, Part Two, French CanCan DVD, Criterion, 2004.
4. Bounty Hunting on Acid: Tony Scott’s Visual Style, Domino DVD, New Line Home Video, 2006.
5. Silberg, Jon, “Thrill Ride”, ICG Magazine, 2009, http://www.icgmagazine.com/wordpress/2009/06/10/thrill-ride/
6. Silberg, Jon, “Exposure: Chris Lebenzon”, ICG Magazine, 2009, http://www.icgmagazine.com/wordpress/2009/07/13/exposure-chris-lebenzon/
7. Fisher, Bob, “Sliding Doors”, ICG Magazine, 2009, http://www.icgmagazine.com/wordpress/2009/06/04/sliding-doors/
8. “Dan Mindel Shoots Domino”, Digital Cinematography, http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/digital-cinematography/feature/dan-mindel-shoots-domino/6737
9. Bresson, Robert. Notes on the Cinematographer, Green Integer, 1997, p. 136.
10. Winogrand, Garry. Creativity with Bill Moyers, PBS, 1982.
11. Rosenbaum, Jonathan. Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia, University of Chicago Press, 2010, p. 322.