Saturday, 21 March 2009

RIDLEY SCOTT AT THE BFI


Looking him up on google when I got home proved to be more enlightening than the Q and A session at the end of this evening. Ridley Scott doesn't put sex in films, he says, because "sex is boring unless you're doing it". But you do wonder when he's doing "it", as he watches one film a night before he goes to bed. Anyway, to the main event...

It's tricky to see somebody's true character when there are so many experts in one room that know him better than he does himself. The humour sort of goes out of it. Although interesting, it becomes a school lecture. So it wasn't until Stephen Frears took the stage, to present Ridley with the 63rd-ever BFI fellowship, that the human being really emerged. One suddenly understood the stature of the man - a stature even greater than that of his work. If one film were to survive, the geeks voted that it should be BLADE RUNNER.

Ridley was educated at Art School outside London and then studied at the Royal College of Art, set design. His first film was about a boy who plays hooky and was very much a family affair with his mother and father helping out, and his brother acting in it. He had a fascination with Bergman movies, and to this day manages to watch one film every night, covering all types of film ever made. Never wanting to repeat himself, he has worked from television's Softly Softly, to Blade Runner, to Thelma and Louise to Gladiator.

So many different genres and stretching himself in every way. Loving a script writer and believing it to be the most important person on a film, when teased about being difficult to actors, he professed to adore them.. As a set designer he was able to see every side of film making and wanted them to be as realistic as possible. He has admiration for composers and believes that they are vital to the success of his movies.

I have only ever managed to watch half of Alien. I couldn't stand the suspense. And after the clip was shown of the creature's first appearance, I'm kind of glad. Ridley told us that the baby Alien had the same effect on the actors on the day of filming, it was brought onto the set in a plastic bag, and when it popped out of Hurt's (prosthettic) stomach, there was complete silence - until one of the actors started laughing hysterically.

1 comment:

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

All that talent and he makes a mean scrambled egg too!

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