rising to the defence of indie film art
in the allegorical film art
of Sir Ridley Scott
by Gary W. Wright
Unlike some participants in the allegorical Zone Wars that have raged on film and in fiction since a helicopter crash killed child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le and actor/director/writer Vic Morrow at 2:20 am in the morning of July 23, 1982 on the John Landis set of the twilit and allegorical Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller and Steven Spielberg film, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (1983), Sir Ridley Scott had been implicitly rising to the defense of film artists who created film art for film art’s sake and blasting beastly blockbuster profit lusting film artists and their controlling Dark Sides since his first Ozian themed and allegorical feature film, THE DUELLISTS (1977). This indomitable commitment to non-commercial film art and film artists was the most prominent and perennial feature of Sir Scott’s allegorical film art, along with their vivid docufeature realism and their Ozian structure. A vivid and immersive docufeature realism that never surpassed Sir Scott’s short, innocent, exuberant and allegorical art student film, BOY AND BICYCLE (1961).
‘I’m on the outside now.’
Innocent indeed, for this short film had Sir Scott following his sixteen year old future film artist younger brother, Anthony David Leighton ‘Tony’ Scott, around their small, bleak and Spartan Channel coast hometown of Stockton-on-Tees in northeast England with a film camera borrowed from his art school, the London based Royal College of Art (RCA), documenting a day when the younger Scott decided to skip school and ride smoothly, surely, confidently and surprisingly unselfconsciously around town on his bicycle in his schoolboy uniform, exploring the main shopping street, industrialscape and beaches of Stockton-on-Tees, meditating on the state of the universe and pondering getting older with a stream of consciousness monologue voiceover (VO) straight out of the allegorical James Joyce novel, Ulysses (1922). In fact, since small towns in most films symbolized Hollywood, Tony’s rebellious decision to skip school and wander around the northern town presciently anticipated Sir Scott’s equally rebellious decision to trust his northern instincts and make films the way he wanted to make them regardless of how they were received by audiences or Hollywood. Indeed, the boy’s rebellious independence and embrace of his own Scott free world anticipated the unique and independent Scott free film art that would be created by Sir Scott in time by his film art production company, Scott Free Productions.
Sir Scott’s uncompromising embrace of his own artistic independence was presciently reaffirmed by Tony’s brief climatic showdown at the end of the film with the father of the Scott brothers, ominously named Frank, after Frank’s frightening and Frankenstein evoking face was suddenly framed in the doorway as the boy frantically fled the spooky fishing shack he had been exploring at the end of the film. For this tragicomic showdown was briefly framed as a Western duel, with the camera looking back at Frank standing outside his fishing shack through Tony’s flexing and quick draw right fingers, implicitly linking Frank to Hollywood studio heads. Thus, by facing down Frank with cool quick draw resolve before riding off into the westering sun on his magic bicycle, Sir Scott not only implicitly affirmed the longing of the Scott brothers to escape their father and their isolated hometown but also presciently anticipated Sir Scott’s insistence on his own indie film art.
Significantly, the desolate and deserted streets and beaches of Stockton-on-Tees and their lack of flora and fauna gave the area a grim post-nuclear apocalypse atmosphere, a post-apocalyptic ambience enhanced by the short film’s black and white horrorshow film stock. This suggestive post-apocalyptic vibe transformed BOY AND BICYCLE, making Tony’s rebellious wanderings and the bored, restless and youthful thoughts, hopes, and dreams expressed in his VO-ably complemented by an ironically and equally young, high spirited, hopeful and innocent theme by John Barry-pensive meditations on a lush, green and life filled pre-apocalyptic world that had disappeared and a brave new world that would hopefully one day spring from its radioactive ashes. This arguably made BOY AND BICYCLE the first sly fi film of Sir Scott, anticipating the equally post-apocalyptic and flora and fauna bereft future of the eerily twilit and prescient allegorical film, BLADE RUNNER (1982).
In fact, the restless wanderings through the industrial landscape of Stockton-on-Tees, Tony’s VO-which almost immediately mentioned someone named Taffy soon after the film began in the boy’s bedroom as he woke up and initially resigned himself to another dreary day at school-and a teddy bear first seen in that bedroom and later in the fishing shack at the end of the film in a way that brought the film full circle anticipated the equally resigned clue tracking peregrinations through the decaying future Los Angeles and world weary film long VO of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard, Hy Pike’s sleazy Snake Pit strip club owner, Taffy, and Bear, the walking teddy bear-played by Kevin Thompson-seen in the decayingly cavernous and lonely bachelor apartment of William Sanderson’s J.F. Sebastian in BLADE RUNNER. At any rate, after creating such swinging Sixties British television shows created by Sir Scott such as the allegorical one off, PATHS OF GLORY (1964)-apparently inspired by the allegorical Stanley Kubrick film, PATHS OF GLORY (1957), making it clear that Sir Scott was already aiming at feature film artists, particularly American ones like Kubrick, when he was still in television-and individual episodes of such series as SOFTLY, SOFTLY (1966-76), THE INFORMER (1966-67) and ADAM ADAMANT LIVES! (1966-67)-I do not know, as I have not seen them-the northern rebel Scott free spirit definitely returned in Sir Scott’s first allegorical, Ozian themed, vividly realistic and full colour docufeature film, THE DUELLISTS, made by his first production company, Scott Free Enterprises, and inspired by the allegorical Joseph Conrad short story, ‘The Duel’ (1908).
‘Here is the path you must take. It is a path of instinct. Everyone who travels on that path travels alone.’
Curiously, the film began in Strasbourg in 1800 with a duel between an unknown character perhaps linked to George Lucas and clearly played by Harvey Keitel-and another unknown man played by Matthew Guinness, the son of Sir Alec Guinness. This duel was mostly shot from the perspective of Keitel’s character looking back at the character of Guiness along Keitel’s right sword arm. This reminded us of the camera looking back through the flexing right fingers of Tony at Frank at the end of BOY AND BICYCLE, immediately linking THE DUELLISTS to BOY AND BICYCLE. Soon after the duel began, Keitel’s character ended it by running his opponent through with his sword.
Not long after the piercing end of the duel, we discovered that Keitel’s character was named Lieutenant Gabriel Feraud, and that he was an officer in Napoleon’s army. This information emerged when the David Cronenberg resembling and implicitly linked Lieutenant Armand D’Hubert-which sounded like ‘Our man D’hubert’, a phrase that prepared us for D’Hubert emerging as the hero of the piece, and played by Keith Carradine-was ordered by the righteously furious General Treillard-his surname sounding like ‘trailer’, as in film trailer, implicitly linking him to film, and played by Robert Stephens-to arrest Feraud for almost killing his duelling opponent, who turned out to be the nephew of the mayor of Strasbourg. Standing next to each other after D’Hubert managed to track down Feraud, the two Napoleonic officers looked very similar despite their differences in height, almost like brothers in fact, with the same mustachios, uniforms, caps and swords. Even the military ranks of the two Lieutenants were the same, and would remain so throughout the film as they were always promoted at the same time. The differences between the two were purely internal, with D’Hubert the more calm, placid, balanced, rational, thoughtful, beautiful and resignedly dutiful of the two, while Feraud was the more ferocious, emotional, unstable, irrational, instinctive, primal, beastly and fanatically obsessed with military protocol and honour and service to Napoleon of the two brother officers.
Soon the two officers were also duelling, after D’Hubert called Feraud ‘…a madman’ for his fury about being arrested for the duel with the mayor’s nephew and for Feraud’s irrationally stiff necked and stubborn reasons for fighting the duel in the first place and a furious Feraud immediately challenged D’Hubert to a duel. This duel was mostly shot from the perspective of D’Hubert along his right sword arm, implicitly linking him to Good. When the camera did take the perspective of Feraud, the camera mostly shot over his sinister left shoulder, implicitly linking Feraud to Evil. In fact, Feraud’s rotoring sword anticipated Landis and the deadly rotoring helicopter of the TZ disaster in the first memory of the future in a film by Sir Scott. Won by D’Hubert, who sliced the right wrist of Feraud before knocking Feraud out with a hit to the head with the hilt of his sword, the duel lead to four more duels.
Significantly, these duels had an Ozian cadence that evoked the allegorical and implicitly Wallis Simpson roasting Victor Fleming film, THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939). Indeed, the opening duel of the film wounded a symbolic Wicked Witch of the East figure in the form of the mayor’s nephew; the second duel between dutiful D’Hubert and beastly Feraud took place in a field, the perfect place to find a Scarecrow; the third duel between the Ozian duellists featured a lot of flashing and fiery sparks, evoking the fiery Cowardly Lion; the fourth duel took place high on charging horseback, evoking the Great Oz high in his floating balloon; and the last duel was fought with pistols on the grounds of a castle in a forest-a castle that evoked the Black Castle of the Wicked Witch of the West-and led to Feraud being frozen by fate like a Tin Man. This Ozian cadence evoked the allegorical and Ozian themed George Lucas film, AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973), implying that Feraud symbolized Lucas.
This implicit link of Feraud to Lucas was affirmed by the fact that the surname of Feraud evoked the Pharoahs teen gang in AMERICAN GRAFFITI-indeed, Feraud was even pronounced ‘Fair-oh’. As already noted, Feraud’s first duelling combatant in the sword duel that began the film was played by Matthew Guinness, the son of Sir Alec Guinness, who Sir Scott would have known while he was making THE DUELLISTS from the film trade papers was starring in the then upcoming science fiction film of Lucas. In fact, a fellow officer who showed up to take on an opponent who had bested Feraud in an arm wrestle while on campaign in 1801 near the beginning of the film looked like Lucas, openly linking Feraud to a Lucas lookalike. Last but not least, an eyepatched soldier and friend of Feraud-played by Arthur Dignam-who looked like Spielberg and who agreed to act as the second of D’Hubert at the final duel reaffirmed Feraud’s link to Lucas, reminding us that Spielberg was a friend of Lucas in those days.
However, while spirited, neither duellist was ever able to kill the other in any of these duels, as the two Napoleonic officer brothers were too evenly matched. It was also noticeable that despite their mutual antipathy, each officer needed the other’s qualities to succeed in the Napoleonic Wars. Nothing summed up their mutual need for the other than the sight of the two antagonistic officers teaming up and saving themselves for more duels by fighting off some Cossack cavalryman during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. Curiously, even in the end, when D’Hubert was in a position to finish off Feraud after defeating him in the final pistol duel, he let him live, the first of many beastly antagonists to go Scott free and alive in the films of Sir Scott. Given the implicit links of D’Hubert and Feraud to Cronenberg and Lucas, the implication was that Sir Scott believed that Cronenberg needed commercial film artists like Lucas to live so as to infuriate and inspire him-and also Sir Scott-to respond to their commercial film art with uncompromisingly artistic indie film art. And so the film ended with the still living, disappointed and Wickedly black clad Feraud standing as silent and motionless as a rusted in place Tin Man on a hill overlooking a river, staring into the sky and brooding over his fate. Fittingly, the sky Feraud brooded into was cut in beautiful and beastly two by dark clouds and bright sunlight in a way that implicitly affirmed Sir Scott’s conviction that light and darkness needed to be not only in film art but balanced inside film artists like Cronenberg and himself in order to make great film art.
Indeed, D’Hubert’s pretty, sweet and implicitly Dorothy linked brunette wife, Adele-played by Christina Raines-was the first of many warm, attractive, intelligent and indomitable brunettes to oppose the cold and duplicitous peroxide blondes of Hollywood in a Sir Scott film. The fact that the name of Adele began with an ‘A’ and ended with an ‘L’ sound, an ‘AL’ combination that was in natural opposition to L. A., implicitly reaffirmed that Sir Scott was declaring his intention to take on Hollywood and its commercial film art with his combative and uncompromising indie film art for film art’s sake. To make this implicit anti-Hollywood point clear, prior to marrying Adele, D’Hubert turned down Diana Quick’s implicitly Glinda linked Laura. An important snub, for the first and last letters of the name of Laura created L. A., while her name also evoked the allegorical Otto Preminger film, LAURA (1944), openly affirming her link to Hollywood film art created by European film artists.
Significantly, there were also other layers to THE DUELLISTS. For the haunting and thoughtful flute melody heard throughout the film-a haunting solo and its orchestral variations that featured the solo flute bursting out of the mass of the symphony like a ray of sunlight on a cloudy day-was taken by composer Howard Blake from Georges Delerue’s soundtrack for the equally haunting, allegorical and implicitly Lucas and Francis Coppola roasting Bernardo Bertolucci film, THE CONFORMIST (1970). This link implied that Sir Scott did not want to be a spineless conformist to Mussolini’s Italy and, implicitly, to Hollywood like Jean-Louis Trintignant’s implicitly Coppola linked Marcello Clerici, the protagonist of THE CONFORMIST. THE DUELLISTS also strongly evoked the implicitly John Landis roasting and allegorical Kubrick film, BARRY LYNDON (1975), released only two years before THE DUELLISTS. Indeed, the presence of Gay Hamilton as Feraud’s loyal and unnamed soldier groupie openly affirmed the film’s link to the Kubrick film, for Hamilton had a larger and more pivotal role as Nora Brady in BARRY LYNDON. The intermittent film long narration of Stacy Keach also evoked that of Michael Hordern in BARRY LYNDON. This was an important link, for BARRY LYNDON was a film that combined high artistic quality with blockbuster size to create an artbuster, a style of film art that Sir Scott now implied that he wished to emulate.
Alas for Sir Scott, however, Lucas easily bested him and every other film artist in the world in 1977 with his allegorical, Ozian themed and implicitly Spielberg roasting film, STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE (1977). A phenomenal world wide success that inspired Sir Scott to reaffirm his indie Northern Rebel spirit and team up again with associate producer Ivor Powell and editor Terry Rawlings-both from THE DUELLISTS-to implicitly roast Lucas again in his second allegorical, Ozian themed and extremely realistic docufeature artbuster, ALIEN (1979), a Lucas beating determination implicitly affirmed by the film’s release on May 25, 1979, the second anniversary of the release of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE on May 25, 1977.
‘Listen to me. If we break quarantine, we could all die.’
Indeed, the allusions to Lucas and STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE began with the arrival of the commercial towing space vehicle, Nostromo-whose name evoked the allegorical Conrad novel, Nostromo (1904)-drifting across the screen towards a large ringed and Saturn evoking planet. For the huge and castle-like Nostromo evoked not just the castle at the end of THE DUELLISTS and the Black Castle of the Wicked Witch of the West, albeit floating through space like Dorothy’s tornado tossed farmhouse. The huge spaceship also evoked the equally huge and great white space shark evoking Star Destroyer (SD) that was in hot pursuit of a fleeing Rebel cruiser frantically trying to reach the planet Tatooine at the beginning of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE.
This implicit link to STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE continued when the camera dipped inside Nostromo to explore the massive commercial spaceship, the camera initially wandering around the hallways and rooms of the Nostromo like the camera, imitating the eyes of Tony, wandered around his room after he woke up at the beginning of BOY AND BICYCLE. For the hallways, rooms and computer generated imagery (CGI) seen on a computer monitor as the Helen Horton voiced Mother, the onboard computer that oversaw the spaceship, awoke and booted itself to artificial life, resembled hallways, rooms and CGI seen in the Death Moon and the Millenium Falcon. The sight of the seven crew members of Nostromo waking up from a long haul cryogenic sleep in their sleeping pods also evoked the new Lucas film, for the seven Sleeping Beauties evoked the fairytale ‘…once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away’ beginning of STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE.
Significantly, Mother soon informed the implicitly Lucas and Great Oz linked Captain Dallas-played by Tom Skerritt-that the crew of Nostromo had been woken up from cryosleep before reaching Earth by a contractual obligation to investigate a radio transmission repeating every twelve seconds from LV-246, one of the moons of the Saturn evoking planet. At this point, ALIEN also began to evoke the allegorical Christian Nyby film, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD! (1951). For taking a shuttle-probably Narcissus, whose name evoked the allegorical Conrad novel, The Nigger Of The Narcissus (1897)-to the surface of LV-246, the crew discovered an inhospitable moon with visibility hampered by dust and rocks whipped by howling winds that evoked the howling wind whipping blinding snow across the lunarscape at the Arctic research station location of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD!
After exploring a nearby extraterrestrial spaceship-a huge biomechanical vessel designed by H. R. Giger-Captain Dallas and two other crew members, the implicitly Wicked Witch of the East linked Kane and the implicitly Glinda linked Navigation Officer Lambert-played by John Hurt and Elizabeth Cartwright, respectively-soon brought a nasty extraterrestrial aboard Nostromo-also designed in a biomechanical style by Giger, evoking his earlier Work No. 303, NECRONOM IV (1976)-evoking the equally nasty extravegeterrestrial and spacefaring Thing-played by James Arness-taken from its crashed spaceship and brought in a block of ice into the Arctic research station in THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD!
The main difference between ALIEN and THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD! was that the biomechanical alien was carried unknowingly onto Nostromo inside the unfortunate Kane. It soon burst out of his stomach in one of the most memorably gory scenes in film history, making the doomed Kane the implicit Wicked Witch of the East figure whose death kicked off the healing Ozian dream or, in this case, nightmare. Significantly, the pint sized and phallic headed black biomechanical alien soon grew to an ever bigger size than the Thing, a towering and implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked behemoth of blockbuster biomechanical terror played by Bolaji Badejo. But size truly mattered not, the blockbuster alien beast hunted down and killed Dallas, Lambert and most of the rest of the Ozian themed crew-including Harry D. Stanton’s implicitly Scarecrow and Spielberg linked engineer Brett and his implicitly Cowardly Lion linked fellow engineer, Parker, played by Yaphet Kotto-with the same methodical and merciless remorselessness as the Thing-implicitly linked to the then emerging terror of television that threatened to keep audiences at home away from the Temple Theatre, given that one of the scientists in the film, one Doctor Wilson (played by Everett Glass), resembled a thin Alfred Hitchcock-hunted down and killed the personnel of the Arctic research centre in THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD!
However, like the Thing, the biomechanical alien was finally killed in the end by the implicitly Dorothy linked Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley-played by Sigourney Weaver. Ripley managed this feat by using a blast of steam, evoking the water with which Judy Garland’s plucky orphan, Dorothy Gale, melted the implicitly Simpson linked Wicked Witch of the West-played by Margaret Hamilton-at the end of THE WIZARD OF OZ, affirming the implicit link of the black biomechanical beast to the Wicked Witch of the West. This blast of steam disoriented the alien and set it up for being sucked into space through an open airlock of the shuttle Narcissus that Ripley used to flee Nostromo, causing the alien to ‘melt’ as it shrunk in size as it drifted away into space, reaffirming its implicit link to the Wicked Witch of the West.
Thus, given that the biomechanical, black, penis headed and towering alien evoked the equally biomechanica, black, penis headed and towering Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader-played by David Prowse and voiced James E. Jones-in STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE, Sir Scott implied that bringing the deadly and pitiless blockbuster biomechanical star beast onboard Nostromo symbolized the release of the addictive, hi-tech and CGI enhanced STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE into Temple Theatres, a hi-tech biomechanical film that Sir Scott implicitly worried would kill serious film art and its artists as surely and remorselessly as the Wicked black biomechanical alien hunted down and killed the crew of Nostromo over the course of ALIEN-unless it was stopped by indie film art purists like Cronenberg and himself, given that the surname of Ripley evoked Ridley. Indeed, the strobe light that flickered through the tense scene that saw Ripley carefully seal herself in a spacesuit before blasting the biomechanical beast with a blast of seering steam at the end of the film affirmed that implication. For the flickering light evoked the film projector-like light that flickered as psycho Gary-played by Tom Berenger-murdered naïve and restless Theresa Dunn-played by Diane Keaton-at the shocking end of the allegorical Richard Brooks film, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR (1977), a shocking ending that implied that Brooks felt that being led astray by blockbuster lusts for fortune and glory would cause the film artists of New Hollywood to kill their film art. Particularly if the corporations that owned Hollywood studios like Twentieth Century Fox-which ironically released both ALIEN and STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE-developed a fondness for the profits to be made from these kinds of bewitching blockbuster star beasts, like the conscienceless Weyland-Yutani Corporation which owned Nostromo, its corporate name taken from the corporation paying for the expedition of Kurtz in the allegorical Conrad novella, Heart Of Darkness (1899)-a fitting choice of company name given that Francis Coppola had returned to the Temple Theatre that same year with the Heart Of Darkness inspired and implicitly John Huston roasting allegorical film, APOCALYPSE NOW (1979). For the Weyland-Yutani Corporation made clear through the shocking revelations of android Tin Man, Ash-played by Ian Holm- that it valued the blockbuster alien beast more than the human crew.
Eerily, as the days marched relentlessly forward to the TZ disaster in the early morning hours of July 23, 1982, a number of film artists released films that contained ominous memories of the twilit future disaster, including Sir Scott’s ALIEN. For soon after being unexpectedly awakened from cryogenic sleep at the beginning of the film by Mother, the all controlling onboard computer of Nostromo, Captain Dallas was seen choosing Interface 2037 from an Overmonitoring Address Matrix screen on a computer in order to communicate with Mother, openly anticipating the 23782 date of the TZ disaster. Shortly after, the numbers 7:23 would be the last numbers seen on a computer screen being monitored by Ash shortly before Narcissus landed on the twilit and forbidding moon of planet LV-426 that sheltered the alien, again eerily anticipating the 23782 date of the TZ disaster.
Just as eerie, Dallas, Kane and Lambert made for an ominously twilit trio of two males and one female who anticipated the two males and one female killed in the TZ disaster when they explored the forbidding moon of LV-426 in seach of the source of the unexpected and repeating radio transmission. A beam of film projector light that played over top of the bed of eggs that contained the aliens in the huge extraterrestrial spaceship implicitly affirmed the link of the alien blockbuster beast that Kane inadvertently brought onto Nostromo to film. Of course, the decapitation of Ash by Parker eerily anticipated the decapitation of Morrow in the TZ disaster. Last but not least, the last image of both the original 1979 release and the 2003 Director’s Cut of ALIEN brought the healing Ozian nightmare full circle by showing Ripley and her unusually feline but Toto evoking cat, Jones, asleep in her cryogenic cocoon on Narcissus like another Sleeping Beauty, the number 723 prominently stamped on the glass lid of the cocoon in the last of a twilit trio of numbers that exactly and eerily anticipated the July 23, 1982 date of the TZ disaster in one last ominously prescient memory of the future.
Making it fitting that Sir Scott was implicitly linked to the earnest, altruistic, optimistic and future predicting time traveller, Herbert George (H.G.) Wells-ironically played by Malcolm McDowell-and roasted for his naïve support of the gleefully violent and implicitly Cronenberg linked Doctor John Leslie Stevenson aka Jack the Ripper-played by David Warner-in the also presciently twilit Nicholas Meyer film, TIME AFTER TIME (1979), an implicit intent affirmed by the film’s allusions to THE DUELLISTS. Curiously, like ALIEN, TIME AFTER TIME also contained ominously prescient memories of the twilit and disastrous future. For Wells arrived in the future at 2:27 pm, a time that almost anticipated the 237 day of the TZ disaster. The 2340 Francisco address of his future lady love, Amy Robbins-played by Mary Steenburgen-also almost predicted the 237 date of the TZ disaster.
An implicitly Sir Scott linked character named Jan Bronski-played by Daniel Olrychski-who duelled with Mario Adorf’s implicitly Lucas linked Alfred Matzerath for the affection and attention of Angela Winkler’s beautiful, brunette and Adele and Leia evoking Agnes Matzerath, also turned up in the implicitly Lucas bashing and allegorical Volker Schlondorff film, DIE BLECHTROMMEL/THE TIN DRUM (1979). David Lynch also implicitly linked Sir Scott to London Doctor Frederick Treves when he replied to TIME AFTER TIME in his allegorical moving painting, THE ELEPHANT MAN (1980), an implicit intent affirmed by the film’s allusions to THE DUELLISTS and TIME AFTER TIME. Last but not least, Peter Hyams was so implicitly convinced that Sir Scott’s implicit intention to destroy addictive f/x filled films in ALIEN had been done so well that it ironically made audiences even more addicted to f/x filled film art that he implicitly linked Sir Scott to an illegal and synthetic polydichloric euthimal (PDE) dealer named Russell B. Yario-played by Richard Hammat-in the ALIEN evoking and implicitly Cronenberg and Sir Scott roasting allegorical Peter Hyams film, OUTLAND (1981). An implicit link that Sir Scott appreciated so much that he implicitly roasted Hyams when he returned with Powell and Rawlings to the Temple Theatre in late June of 1982 shortly before the TZ disaster with his next allegorical, eerily and presciently twilit and Ozian themed docufeature artbuster, BLADE RUNNER, a film inspired by the allegorical and implicitly Disney animatronic person roasting Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (1968).
‘Wake up-time to die.’
Indeed, the film’s many allusions to OUTLAND implied that Sir Scott primarily used BLADE RUNNER to strike back at Hyams in the implicit form of Joe Turkel’s Tyrell Corporation head, Eldon Tyrell, a character who also evoked Enzo Tarascio’s Professor Quadri in THE CONFORMIST and Heinrich Gotho’s Master of Ceremonies in the allegorical Fritz Lang film, METROPOLIS (1927). In fact, in many ways BLADE RUNNER was just a remake of OUTLAND that saw Harrison Ford’s implicitly Lucas linked LAPD Blade Runner Rick Deckard hunting down renegade genetically designed fake humans known as replicants in a crowded and hellish future L.A. like Sean Connery’s implicitly Kubrick linked Federal District Marshall W.T. ‘Bill’ O’Niel hunted down renegade PDE dealers like Yario in the equally crowded and hellish Con-Amalgamated titanium mine 27 on Io, a moon of Jupiter said to a have diameter of 2273 miles in another eerie and twilit memory of the future.
Nothing summed up the implication that Sir Scott was using BLADE RUNNER to primarily lash out at OUTLAND more than the sight of Deckard chasing the replicant Zhora-played by Joanna Cassidy-through the crowded streets of L.A., for it evoked the sight of O’Niel chasing the implicitly Cronenberg linked drug dealer Nicholas P. Spota-played by Marc Boyle-through the crowded passageways of Con-Am 27, a mining operation overseen by Peter Boyle’s implicitly Lucas linked General Manager Mark B. Sheppard in OUTLAND. Curiously, Deckard pushed aside an extra played by Tony Scott during this chase, openly linking BLADE RUNNER to BOY AND BICYCLE in a way that implied that BOY AND BICYCLE was set in a post-apocalyptic Earth like BLADE RUNNER. The sight of Deckard spending the film hunting down the replicants-artificially created and genetically enhanced people who implicitly symbolized hi-tech and f/x filled films like OUTLAND or STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE or films that repeated or replicated them in thinly disguised sequels designed simply to make money-after they stole a shuttle and infiltrated Earth from the Offworld colonies at the beginning of the film also evoked the sight of O’Niel hunting down a trio of assassins in the equally labyrinthine passages of Con-Am 27 after a company shuttle brought them to the mine at the end of OUTLAND, and ending that evoked the end of the embittered and allegorical Fred Zinneman film, HIGH NOON (1952).
Curiously, on top of allusions to OUTLAND and THE CONFORMIST, BLADE RUNNER also alluded often to the allegorical Billy Wilder film, SUNSET BOULEVARD 91950). For Deckard’s film long VO narration and the fact that he began the film unemployed before being drawn back into the blade runner ranks reminded us that the struggling and unemployed screenwriter, Joseph C. ‘Joe’ Gillis-played by William Holden-narrated and played a prominent role throughout the tragicomic events of SUNSET BOULEVARD. Indeed, Holden’s presence in SUNSET BOULEVARD was alluded to by the name of Deckard’s fellow blade runner, Dave Holden-played by Morgan Paull-openly linking BLADE RUNNER to SUNSET BOULEVARD. The sight of another blade runner, Gaff-played by Edward J. Olmos-driving Deckard around in a flying police car known as a ‘spinner’ reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in SUNSET BOULEVARD, as it evoked the sight of the long suffering butler/chauffeur, Max-played by Erich von Stroheim-driving Gillis around in SUNSET BOULEVARD. The sight and sound of Captain Bryant-played by M. Emmet Walsh-persuading Deckard to rejoin the blade runner ranks at the beginning of the film also reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in SUNSET BOULEVARD, for Capt. Bryant looked and sounded like Sheldrake-played by Fred Clark-a Paramount Studios producer that Gillis tried but failed to sell a screenplay to at the beginning of SUNSET BOULEVARD.
In addition, Tyrell’s confused and despondent niece, Rachael Tyrell-played by Sean Young-the replicant love interest of the film, resembled the lost and despondent ex-silent film star, Norma Desmond-played by Gloria Swanson-who caught Gillis in her web and eventually shot him twice in the back, in the end. Indeed, the retro-Forties black blouse and skirt Rachael wore in the palatial office of Eldon Tyrell on her first appearance in BLADE RUNNER evoked the black clothing Desmond wore in her palatial house on her first appearance in SUNSET BOULEVARD, affirming the implicit link between the two characters. A high collared fur coat that Rachael wore when she shot the renegade and implicitly Irv Kershner linked replicant, Leon Kowalski-played by Brion James-from behind also evoked a similar high collared fur coat Desmond wore midway through SUNSET BOULEVARD. Thus, given that Rachael’s implicit link to Norma linked her to a vanished era of low-tech film art, and that hi-tech, f/x filled and CGI enhanced film art like BLADE RUNNER and STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE were sweeping away the low-tech era of New Hollywood film art, the sight of Deckard kissing a sleeping Rachael to life in a fairy tale ending that evoked the end of ALIEN and driving Rachael away from L. A. to freedom, in the end, after hunting down and ‘retiring’ the renegade replicants implied the hope of Sir Scott that Lucas would choose to direct again but this time abandon the hi-tech and f/x filled direction he had sent film art with STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE and lead the way back to a more life affirming and fully human low-tech film art.
Unfortunately, the excellent and memorable acting, costumes, effects, sets and soundtrack of BLADE RUNNER could not save the film from being plagued by many problems. First of all, the dark, rainy and entirely urban future L.A. was so radically removed from the sunlit coastal city with its famous beaches as to be unbelievable. Secondly, when Capt. Bryant persuaded Deckard to rejoin the LAPD Blade Runner ranks at the beginning of the film, Deckard was told by his old LAPD boss that six replicants were supposed to have escaped from the Offworld colonies and snuck back to Earth, where one was soon ‘…fried running through an electrical field’ trying to infiltrate Tyrell Corp. This left five replicants for Deckard to hunt down, but he only hunted down four of the infiltrating replicants, with no mention ever made as to what happened to the missing replicant.
Confusion continued after Deckard left Captain Bryant and went to Tyrell Corporation to try the Voight-Kampff empathy test on Rachael high in their palatial penthouse office atop the towering pyramid of Tyrell Corporation. For when Deckard asked her if the owl in the penthouse was artificial, Rachael mouthed ‘…of course not’ as she walked toward him. However, in post-production, Sir Scott had her say ‘…of course it is’, implying that the owl was fake. While not unsual at the time, given that most flora and fauna had been wiped out be a nuclear war in the PKD novel that inspired the film, this re-dubbed dialogue caused problems when Deckard tracked down the Zhora at the strip bar where she was hiding out as a stripper. For when Deckard asked her if her python was real, Zhora replied indignantly, ‘…of course it’s not real. Think I’d be working in a place like this if I could afford a real snake?’ This made it clear that some animals were still alive and could be purchased by wealthy people, making it unlikely that the Tyrells, the wealthiest people of the film’s milieu, could not afford a real owl. Deckard also showed no interest and made no response when he disturbed some wild pigeons roosting in a room on the top floor of the Bradbury building as he fled Batty at the end of the film, despite the importance that the society of L.A. 2019 placed on living rather than artificial animals, birds, insects and sea creatures, particularly in Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?
Problems continued when Deckard administered the Voight-Kampff empathy test on Rachael. For the eyes of Rachael soon began glowing red as Deck read out a series of questions involving animals and insects to test her empathy for these creatures, which was high in humans but low in replicants. This red glow quickly implied to audiences that Rachael was a replicant. Unfortunately for Deckard and Ford, neither noticed the red eyes as, like Rachael’s earlier re-dubbed dialogue concerning the owl, the red eye effect that revealed replicants to audiences was added in post-production by Sir Scott without telling anyone beforehand. Thus, Deckard and Ford knew nothing about the red eyes while filming the scene and did not quickly realize that Rachael was a replicant, mystifying audiences who quickly realized that she was and making audiences wonder why Deck was so dense if he was LAPD’s top Blade Runner. Audience mystification continued later in the film when Deckard met with Rachael for the second time in his apartment. For Deck’s eyes suddenly glowed red too at one point, implying that he too was a replicant.
After leaving Rachael at Tyrell Corp, another surprisingly silly mistake occurred when Deck and his constant sneering and origami loving shadow, Gaff-who was implicitly linked to the Scarecrow and constantly evoked both Max and Gastone Moschin’s Special Agent Manganiello of THE CONFORMIST-dropped by the room of Leon Kowalski-his name evoking Frank Kowalski, co-writer of the allegorical Morrow film, A MAN CALLED SLEDGE (1970). For when Deckard inspected the room’s bathroom for clues, he suddenly became left handed, with a watch on his left wrist no less. However, when he left the bathroom, Deckard reverted to his usual righthandedness, and remained left handed for the rest of the film. Legend has it that Sir Scott was not satisfied with the scene, and reshot the bathroom sequence in post-production in England with left handed English stuntman Vic Armstrong-who was Ford’s stunt double not long before in the allegorical Spielberg film, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)-again doubling for Ford. The worst of Deckard’s film long VO-‘…whatever was in the bathroom was not human. Replicants don’t have scales’-was also heard during this sequence.
In addition, the first two images introducing the replicant’s implicitly Schlondorff linked leader, Roy Batty-played by Rutger Hauer-came from scenes later in the film. The second meeting between Rick and Rachael at his apartment also saw Rick’s eyes suddenly flash red at one point, making audiences uncertain whether Deckard was human or replicant-an uncertainty shared by Ford, as he had not been forewarned that this other red effect would be added in post-production. In the elevator on the way up to see Tyrell at the end of the film, the implicitly Meyer linked genetic designer, J. F. Sebastian-his premature aging evoking the Victorian spirit of TIME AFTER TIME, and played by William Sanderson-took off his coat as he stood next to Batty, but was seen wearing the coat soon after. A pigeon released by Batty on another twilit and rainy day in L.A. 2019 towards the end of the film also unaccountably flew out of his hand and up into rain free sunlight, apparently as a result of more tampering of the film by Sir Scott in post-production. Last but not least, it was never clear whether the replicants were androids, clones, cyborgs, machines, robots, test tube people, embodied symbols of repetitive f/x enhanced film sequels or the symbolic embodiment of the new CGI enhanced film art that was not only making film art ‘…more human than human’ but creating the possibility that film artists would do away with human actors altogether in preference for CGI ‘people’. What was clear was that this uncertainty created yet more confusion for audiences that prevented them from understanding or warming up to this Great Flawed Film.
Curiously, eerie, ominous and prescient memories of the twilit and disastrous future also plagued BLADE RUNNER. The sad and wistful first notes of the electronic soundtrack by Vangelis created for a post-nuclear war world haunted by memories of green also anticipated the sad and wistful years after the TZ disaster when audiences and film artists would be haunted by the disaster and by memories of the Skyrocking years before the disaster. The oil refineries burning off pressure relieving fireballs in the Hades landscape seen surrounding the nightmare Emerald City of the future Los Angeles in 2019-a hellish, dark and depressing cityscape that evoked the Black Castle and its environs of the Wicked Witch of the West and was the antithesis of the bright and clean Cloud City in the Lucas executive produced and allegorical Irvin Kershner film, STAR WARS EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980), and of the equally bright and clean Metropolis of METROPOLIS-in the opening shots of the film anticipated the special effects explosion and fireball that brought down the Huey helicopter during the attack on the Vietnam War village on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. The flying police cars-spinners-soaring above the Hades landscape like automotive flying witch brooms also anticipated that helicopter.
The large, four bladed ceiling fans that spun over the replicant infiltrator, Kowalski and his implicitly Wicked Witch of the East linked Blade Runner tracker, Dave Holden, during the Voigt-Kampff empathy test that determined whether or not Leon was human in an office of the towering and Black Castle evoking pyramid of the Tyrell Corporation soon after the camera flew over the Hades landscape ominously anticipated the scything rotor blades of the downed helicopter. The small portable fan seen in the office of Captain Bryant soon after Kowalski shot Holden reiterated the ominous link to helicopter rotors.
Significantly, Bryant’s revelation to the implicitly Cowardly Lion linked Deckard that six replicants jumped an Off World shuttle and killed its twenty-three passengers and crew in order to get back to Earth quickly brought the fateful number 23 back to the allegorical films of Sir Scott-and linked BLADE RUNNER to ALIEN by way of the shuttle Narcissus. Deckard’s apartment number 9732 returned a full 723 combination back to the films of the Northern Rebel, for it evoked the 723 stamped on the glass lid of Ripley’s cryogenic cocoon at the end of ALIEN. ‘Enhance fifteen to twenty-three’, Deckard’s last command to his photographic analysis ‘Esper’ machine-a name which evoked the Espers or people with extra-sensory powers (ESP) in the allegorical and inaugural Hugo award winning Alfred Bester novel, The Demolished Man (1953), a fitting allusion as the novel was also a murderous mystery-made for a twilit trio of mentions of the number twenty-three in BLADE RUNNER, as in ALIEN. Deckard’s Blade Runner license number B25364 contained the numbers two and three again, allowing BLADE RUNNER to surpass ALIEN with a forceful four mentions of the fateful number 23.
Of course, the large and rotoring rooftop windmill power generators seen in the final moments of the film evoked the helicopter rotors of the TZ disaster once again, and the large ceiling fans seen above Holden and Leon in the opening of the film, bringing the film full rotoring circle. The sight of the bleeding Batty emerging out of the smoke between two rotoring rooftop windmills to gaze down at Deckard hanging frantically from the edge of a neighbouring rooftop at the end was also an eerily prescient sight. The three humans-all male-killed by the replicants over the course of the film also made for an eerily prescient twilit trio of victims. Last but not least, the dark, decayed, depressed, dirty, gloomy, hi-tech and soulless atmosphere of the future L.A., its omnipresent neon corporate logos and its casual, impersonal and brutal violence anticipated an L.A. and Hollywood taken over by blockbuster loot lusting corporations, as well as the depression and gloom that overwhelmed audiences, film artists, Hollywood and L.A. after the TZ disaster and created a perennially dark, depressed, violent and hi-tech film world obsessed with the TZ disaster.
Heck, BLADE RUNNER was even released by Warner Brothers, the same studio that financed and reluctantly released TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE the following year, underlining how closely this Great Flawed Film anticipated the TZ disaster, the fallout, and the dread allegorical Zone Wars. In fact, that BLADE RUNNER anticipated the TZ disaster with such eerie accuracy on top of succeeding too well in its job of warning audiences away from soulless and mindless hi-tech and f/x filled film art may explain why the film failed at the box office. What was certain was that the film was still in theatres on July 23, 1982, when audiences began to turn against not only Landis, Lucas, Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, the co-producers of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE who had helped Landis and his episode’s producer, George Folsey, illegally hire and use Chen and Le after hours on the Landis set that fateful night in July of ’82, but also against hi-tech and special and visual effects filled films like BLADE RUNNER that reminded audiences of the films of these fatal five film artists and of the TZ disaster.
Curiously, in another eerily prescient memory of the future, Slava Tsukerman became the first film artist to implicitly address BLADE RUNNER in his twilit and allegorical film, LIQUID SKY (1982)-despite the fact that LIQUID SKY was created at the same time as BLADE RUNNER. At any rate, fairy tale endings were clearly still on the mind of Sir Scott, for exuberant fairy tale romance implicitly triumphed over twilit and Landis, Lucas and Spielberg linked Evil when Sir Scott teamed up again with Rawlings and strove to come to grips with the BLADE RUNNER and TZ disasters and reconnect with audiences in his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed artbuster, LEGEND (1986).
‘Do you think you could upset the order of the universe and not pay the price?’
Indeed, the setting of the film in a lush and verdant forest teeming with plant, bird and animal life, a setting that was as far removed from the lifeless post-apocalyptic world of BLADE RUNNER, implicitly affirmed how eager Sir Scott was to leave behind 1982 in LEGEND. Alas, the attempt to bring harmony back to audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre by having the implicitly Landis and Scarecrow linked forest boy. Jack-played by Tom Cruise-and the foolishly mischievous and Deborah Landis-the wife of Landis-and Dorothy linked Princess Lily-played by Mia Sara-team up with a group of mischievous Munchkins led by the forest Gump-played by David Bennent, whose presence allowed Sir Scott to acknowledge Schlondorff’s interest in him, as Bennent played the implicitly Lucas linked Oskar, the tin drum drumming and glass breaking kid who refused to grow up in DIE BLECHTROMMEL/THE TIN DRUM-to rescue the last of the unicorns and defeat the red, towering, Satan evoking and implicitly Lucas and Wicked Witch of the West linked Lord of Darkness-played by Tim Curry-in a climatic sword duel that evoked the duels of THE DUELLISTS and the climatic light saber duels of the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy to implicitly affirm the link of Darkness to Lucas came across as a laughably lost and confused feature length music video, complete with wimpy synthesized score by Tangerine, making for another surprising box office dud for Sir Scott, after starting so well with BOY AND BICYCLE, THE DUELLISTS and ALIEN. To make matters worse, the sequel to that latter film-which Sir Scott had turned down the opportunity to create-was not only released that year in the form of the twilit, allegorical and implicitly Joe Dante roasting James Cameron film, ALIENS (1986), it was also the smash hit of the year, making Sir Scott look twice as bad that year. Thus, rejected twice by audiences and thrashed by Cameron, Sir Scott retired to lick his wounds before returning to the fray with his next twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and TIME AFTER TIME evoking docufeature artbuster, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME (1987).
‘Ellie? I want to come back.’
Luckily for Sir Scott, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME was a solid and coherent enough film-a solidity and coherency enhanced by the crisp, clean and sometimes hypnotizing cinematography of Steven Poster-that it more than reassured audiences and himself that he was back on track. The visually stunning nighttime helicopter flight over the pristine, colourful and beautiful Emerald City of New York that began the film and ironically recalled the opening spinner flight over the nightmarish nighttime Hades landscape of L.A. at the beginning of BLADE RUNNER also implied that Sir Scott was brooding more over the failure of BLADE RUNNER than LEGEND in SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. However, the film also contained enough allusions to such twilit and allegorical Lynch moving paintings as DUNE (1984) and BLUE VELVET (1986) to imply that Sir Scott was actually sending a message to Lynch in his latest allegorical film.
Indeed, the opening murder of the implicitly Wicked Witch of the East linked Win Hockings-played by Mark Moses-by the beastly and implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked Joey Venza-played by Andreas Katsulas-took place in a large and beautiful gold chamber-actually located in the real life Mayan Theatre in L. A., rather than New York-that evoked the equally huge and magnificent gold throne room of Jose Ferrer’s Emperor Shaddam IV in his palace on Khaitan at the beginning of DUNE, a notorious box office flop, immediately affirming the implicit interest in Lynch in SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. This implication was reaffirmed by the fact that the implicitly Glinda linked New York socialite, Claire Gregory-played by Mimi Rogers-who inadvertently witnessed Venza kill Hockings, resembled Emperor Shaddam IV’s daughter, Princess Irulan-played by Virginia Madsen.
The resemblance of the implicitly Dorothy linked Ellen ‘Ellie’ Keegan-played by Lorraine Bracco-the wife of the dutiful and implicitly Lynch and Cowardly Lion linked and newly ordained NYPD Detective Mike Keegan-played by Tom Berenger-to Dorothy Vallens-played by Isabella Rossellini-in BLUE VELVET reaffirmed the implicit interest in Lynch in SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. The fact that the film’s allegorical and titular George and Ira Gershwin song, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ (1926), was repeated three times and was as important to the film as the allegorical Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris song, ‘Blue Velvet’ (1950), was to BLUE VELVET, also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch. Thus, given that Claire tried to lead Mike away from Ellie when he was watching over her to prevent her from being murdered by Venza, and that Mike left her and the wealthy circles that she lived inhabited in Manhattan and returned to Ellie and their lower middle class home in Queens after the beautiful Ellie shot and killed the beastly and Wicked Venza at the end of the film-like Rachael shot Kowalski in BLADE RUNNER-the implication was that the art school trained Sir Scott was telling the fellow art school trained Lynch to stay away from big budget blockbuster beasts like DUNE that could destroy him and stick to the lower budget and independent moving paintings like BLUE VELVET that he did so well.
Indeed, Venza’s status as a shady and independent Italian money lender as well as killer reminded us that independent Italian film producer Dino De Laurentiis lured Lynch away to make DUNE, a flop that almost killed the reputation of Lynch, reaffirming the implicit intent of Sir Scott in SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. That Keegan also stalked and eventually shot a killer who looked like Mark Hamill-played by Harlan C. Poe-in a mirrored room in Claire’s apartment in a gun duel that evoked the end of THE DUELLISTS, reaffirmed the implication that Sir Scott wanted Lynch to kill any desire to take on and top Lucas with another STAR WARS Classic Trilogy evoking film like DUNE ever again. Overall, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME was a more solid and noteworthy film, no doubt inspiring Sir Scott to create his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed docufeature artbuster, BLACK RAIN (1989).
‘Hey, baby, what I’d say?’
Significantly, like SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME, the film made endless allusions to BLADE RUNNER, implying again that Sir Scott was brooding furiously over the failure of the film. Indeed, in many ways BLACK RAIN seemed like a remake of BLADE RUNNER set mostly in an everyday late Eighties Osaka, Nippon that evoked the future L. A. of BLADE RUNNER. Despite this resemblance to BLADE RUNNER, however, the film implicitly addressed Spielberg in the form of another NYPD Detective, Nick Conklin-played by Michael Douglas. Significantly, Conklin captured an implicitly Landis linked thug named Kogi Sato-played by Yusaku Matsuda-after he killed two fellow Japanese gangsters in a New York restaurant. This murderous attack evoked a similar murderous attack on the Kessler family by a gang of monstrous Nazis in a nightmare experienced by David Kessler-played by David Naughton-in the allegorical and implicitly Nicholas Meyer addressing Landis film, AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON (1981), affirming the implicit link of Sato to Landis.
Accompanying Sato to Osaka by plane-the sight of Osaka from the air evoking the sight of Chicago by air at the beginning of the allegorical Landis film, THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980)-for transfer to Japanese authorities with his wisecracking partner, Charlie Vincent-played by Andy Garcia-Conklin lost Sato on arrival and then spent the rest of the film tracking down the violent and inhuman Sato in the streets of Osaka like Deckard spent BLADE RUNNER tracking down violent and inhuman replicants in the streets of L. A. Along the way, Vincent was decapitated by Sato, giving Conklin even more reason to track him down and bring him to justice, in the end. This Conklin accomplished with the help of his Osaka liaison, Police Detective Masahiro Matsumoto-played by Ken Takakura, in a scene that implicitly reaffirmed the link of Sato to Landis. For the sight of Conklin and Matsumoto firmly marching a beat up Sato through the Osaka police department to be formally and finally arrested for his twilit trio of murders ironically evoked the sight of Joliet Jake Blues-played by John Belushi-being marched by two prison guards through Joliet Prison to be released at the beginning of THE BLUES BROTHERS.
Thus, given that Conklin spared Sato’s life despite the fact that Sato murdered Vincent and the two Japanese gangsters and returned to New York after the arrest of Sato, Sir Scott implied that Spielberg should also release Landis and get back to his film art creating life, given that Landis and his four co-defendants had escaped punishment at the end of the TZ trial two years before in 1987. The film’s allusions to the allegorical and implicitly Landis addressing Spielberg film, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981), and the twilit and allegorical Spielberg film, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM (1984), affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Spielberg. The presence of Kate Capshaw as a nightclub hostess named Joyce openly reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Spielberg, as she played nightclub singer Wilhelmina ‘Willie’ Scott in INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM, and would soon go on to become the second wife of Spielberg.
Curiously, while no doubt pleased with the success of BLACK RAIN, Sir Scott teamed up again with Keitel and BLACK RAIN composer Hans Zimmer and implicitly addressed Lynch again in his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed docufeature artbuster, THELMA AND LOUISE (1991), the first of his films co-produced by Sir Scott.
‘I’m not sorry that sonofabitch is dead. I’m just sorry it’s you that did it, not me.’
Indeed, the film’s allusions to BLUE VELVET, the allegorical and implicitly Francis Coppola addressing moving painting, WILD AT HEART (1990), and the twilit and allegorical Lynch tele-moving painting series, TWIN PEAKS (1990-1), implicitly affirmed that Sir Scott was addressing Lynch again in THELMA AND LOUISE. A Lynchian fondness for smoking and white dress shirts buttoned at the collar, Louise Sawyer-played by Susan Sarandon-also implicitly linked Sawyer to Lynch, affirming the film’s implicit interest in Lynch. Curiously, Sawyer and her friend, Thelma Dickinson-played by Geena Davis-fled their stultifying lives by hitting the road for a rejuvenating weekend alone without telling their significant male others at the beginning of the film, evoking Tony’s Scott free day from school in BOY AND BICYCLE.
Significantly, a stop at a roadside bar called the Silver Bullet to celebrate the end of their first day of spontaneous freedom led to an inebriated Dickinson being beaten up and almost raped in the parking lot by a callow cad named Harlan Puckett-played by Timothy Carhart-who looked like James Cameron and had a buff physique that evoked Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, implying that Puckett symbolized Cameron. Indeed, Puckett’s first name ‘Harlan’ reminded us that fantastic fiction writer Harlan Ellison fought and won a lawsuit against Cameron due to the fact that the twilit and allegorical Cameron film, THE TERMINATOR (1984), too closely resembled one of the short stories of Ellison, implicitly affirming that Puckett symbolized Cameron. This link in turn also reminded us that Sir Scott was symbolically ‘raped’ by Cameron by the success of ALIENS, thus implying that Dickinson symbolized Sir Scott. A rape that Sir Scott not surprisingly did not enjoy, given that Thelma was rescued from the brutish attentions of Puckett by Louise, who shot Puckett dead when he was rude to her after she saved Thelma, evoking the sight of Rachael shooting dead Kowalski in BLADE RUNNER and Ellie gunning down Venza at the end of SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME.
Unfortunately for the ladies, the righteously furious and satisfying murder of Puckett led to them frantically driving Louise’s 1966 Thunderbird down south to Mexico to escape the pursuing police. Along the way, Thelma and Louise were robbed by a smooth talking drifter named J.D.-played by Brad Pitt-who appeared to symbolize Lucas. Indeed, his initials evoked the J.D. Jedi of the Classic Trilogy, and his robbery reminded us that Lynch and Sir Scott lost a lot of audience support and money implicitly blasting Lucas in box office duds like BLADE RUNNER, DUNE and LEGEND. Thelma and Louise were also harassed by an obnoxious, arrogant, Spielberg resembling and implicitly linked trucker-played by Marco St. John-but had the last laugh when shortly before the end of the film they blew up his monstrous big rig, a big rig that evoked the monstrous and tormenting big rig in the allegorical and implicitly Lucas supporting Spielberg telefilm, DUEL (1971), perhaps Sir Scott’s way of repaying Spielberg for his decision to make a feature film of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE and hire people like Folsey, Kennedy, Landis and Marshall to help him in the first place, leading to the TZ disaster and trapping film art in the Zone Wars.
As in BLACK RAIN, Sir Scott also alluded to Landis and THE BLUES BROTHERS. For the frantic posse of police cars that chased Thelma and Louise at the end of the film evoked the equally frantic posse of police cars that chased down Jake and Dan Akroyd’s Elwood Blues at the end of THE BLUES BROTHERS. Thus, it was fitting that the two law enforcement officials leading the Blues Sisters womanhunt, the ridiculously surnamed Detective Hal Slocumb and FBI man Max-played by Keitel and Stephen Tobolowsky, respectively-resembled Jake and Elwood Blues as much as they did Landis and Marshall. Slocumb even showed up in a Huey helicopter at the end of the film, the same type of helicopter that crashed in the TZ disaster, openly linking him to the disaster and implicitly linking him to Landis.
Alas it was to no avail as there was no escaping the long arm of the Law, leading the dejected and freedom loving Blues Sisters to drive the Thunderbird off a cliff in Utah and into a canyon of the Colorado River. Significantly, the film ended with the image of the Thunderbird freezing over the Colorado River midway through its falling arc, evoking the frozen image of Tony on the desolate beach at the end of BOY AND BICYCLE. This frozen in mid-air ending implied that Sir Scott felt that he was unsure if there would be any place for film art for film art’s sake artists like Lynch and himself in the crave new world of blockbuster loot obsessed and computer generated imagery (CGI) enhanced Hollywood film art of the Nineties. Sir Scott soon also affirmed that he had indeed been brooding bitterly in BLACK RAIN and SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME over the failure of BLADE RUNNER when he released a new Director’s Cut of the film in theatres in September of 1992 in its tenth anniversary year.
‘Too bad she won’t live-but then again, who does?’
Unfortunately, and tragicomically, Sir Scott also revealed that he had not understood the many reasons for the failure of BLADE RUNNER. For the removal of Deckard’s VO and the addition of a short and wistful LEGEND evoking unicorn dream experienced by Deckard were the only major changes he made to the film, making the ’92 Director’s Cut as much of an incomprehensible Great Flawed Film as the ’82 Domestic and International originals. The new version also lacked the sight of Deckard and Rachael escaping LAPD pursuit by driving off into the mountains, in the end. Instead, the Director’s Cut ended ambiguously with the elevator doors closing on Deckard and Rachael after they left his apartment. As such, audiences were uncertain whether the two lovers escaped Deckard’s apartment building, or were gunned down in the lobby or outside the apartment building after they exited the elevator.
Curiously, despite its continued incomprehensibility, BLADE RUNNER caught on this time with audiences, remaining in sold out theatres for months (Sammon, 349-71). And so, with the Great Flawed Film finally a success, Sir Scott’s spirits were no doubt raised by the time of the release of his twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed docufeature artbuster, 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1992), fittingly made with Vangelis, Weaver and THELMA AND LOUISE director of photography Adrian Biddle and production designer Norman Spencer and BLACK RAIN associate producer Mimi Polk Sotela.
‘I will not give up!’
Significantly, in the failed attempt of Gerard Depardieu’s implicitly Luc Besson linked Christopher Columbus to establish a harmonious and prosperous community in the New World-his crew of implicitly film artist linked sailors and their newfound indigenous friends briefly united by the hoisting of a huge church bell into its tower in their first colony before disaster struck-and his rivalry with the rich, powerful and implicitly Lucas linked Sanchez-played by Armande Assante-and the Evil, gold lusting and implicitly Spielberg linked Moxica-played by Michael Wincott-Sir Scott warned Besson that he would likely fail to establish a brave new world of film art due to the machinations of powerful established film artists like Lucas and Spielberg. A sobering implication indeed, and one that was rejected by audiences as emphatically as they rejected the original BLADE RUNNER and LEGEND. Thus, it was back to the drawing board for Sir Scott.
Significantly, before Sir Scott determinedly returned with his own film, he added producer of the films of other film artists to his accomplishments when he combined with Polk to produce the allegorical Mike Figgis film, THE BROWNING VERSION (1994), a film that implied that it was blasting Lucas, given that the film evoked the Lucas executive produced young Indiana Jones telefilm series. Indeed, its lead character, the embittered and crotchety old teacher, Andrew Crocker-Harris-played by Albert Finney, who played Fouche in THE DUELLISTS-evoked George Hall’s equally old and crotchety Indiana Jones in the telefilm series, affirming the film’s implicit Lucas addressing intent. Curiously, Sir Scott then implicitly reached out to Lynch again in the form of another determined and Columbus evoking Captain sailing on another momentous Atlantic voyage when he combined again with Polk Gitlin on his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed docufeature artbuster-and the first film made with his new Scott Free film production company-WHITE SQUALL (1996), a film inspired by the Chuck Gieg memoir, White Squall (1970).
‘You can’t turn from the wind. You face the music, you trim your sails, and you keep going.’
Indeed, the initially peaceful voyage of the good Brigateen School sailing ship, Albatross-a sailboat for troubled teen boys that combined the last year of high school with a year of real life sailing and maturing experience in the Caribbean discovered and transformed by Columbus and his film crew in 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE-before a nightmarish storm known as a white squall sunk the ship was implicitly linked to the good decade for Lynch after the failure of DUNE in ’84 before the failure of the twilit and allegorical moving painting, TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME (1994), led to an even greater storm of criticism and vitriol being heaped on his poor head. This implicit intent was affirmed by the fact that the implicitly Great Oz evoking Captain of the Albatross, Christopher ‘Skipper’ Sheldon-played by Jeff Bridges-looked, dressed and talked like Lynch throughout WHITE SQUALL, implicitly linking Sheldon to Lynch. The presence of a young and troubled rich boy named Frank Beaumont-played by Jeremy Sisto-amongst the teenaged sailors affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch, as his name recalled Jeffrey Beaumont and Frank Booth-played by Kyle MacLachlan and Dennis Hopper, respectively-in BLUE VELVET. Beaumont’s arrogant father, Francis Beaumont-played by David Selby-resembled Hopper, reaffirming the film’s link to BLUE VELVET. The sound of Sting singing ‘Valpariso’ over the closing titles of WHITE SQUALL also reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch, recalling Sting’s role as Feyd Rautha in DUNE.
Significantly, Beaumont and the rest of the teenage crew of the Albatross were also implicitly linked to twilit film artists who had also experienced and weathered box office disasters like Lynch. Thus, it was fitting that these teen sailors lived up to the motto on the ship’s bell-‘…where we go one, we go all’-and rallied around Skipper Sheldon at the tribunal at the end of the film and refused to allow all blame for the Albatross disaster to fall solely on his shoulders. For this solidarity was implicitly Sir Scott’s way of urging Lynch to not get too down about the failure of TWIN PEAKS: FIRE WALK WITH ME or to feel he that was alone in cinematic failure. Indeed, the presence of the Sir Scott resembling and implicitly linked English teacher and second-in-command, McCrea-played by John Savage-openly affirmed Sir Scott’s support for Lynch. More moving support for Lynch indeed, and then Sir Scott was off to team up again with WHITE SQUALL director of photography Hugh Johnson and co-producer Nigel Wooll to complete his Atlantic Bell Trilogy with his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, G.I. JANE (1997).
‘Master Chief! Suck my dick!’
Curiously, from a distance the film seemed straight forward: determined, indomitable, young and implicitly film artist linked U.S. Navy Intelligence Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil-played by Demi Moore-struggled to pass the arduous training required to become first female U.S. Navy SEAL against the bitter opposition of the head of the SEAL training programme, Master Chief John James Urgayle-played by Viggo Mortensen. However, it was not certain which film artist Lt. O’Neil was implicitly linked to upon closer inspection. For the commander of the Atlantic facing Florida base where the Navy SEAL programme took place, CO Salem-played by Scott Wilson-resembled Lynch and shared Lynch’s love of smoking and drinking coffee, implicitly affirming that Lt. O’Neil symbolized the bloodied but unbowed film art of Lynch, still stuck in the doghouse at the time. Indeed, the U.S. Senator who helped Lt. O’Neil get into the programme, Lillian DeHaven, was played by Anne Bancroft, who played Mrs. Kendal in THE ELEPHANT MAN, reaffirming the implication that Lt. O’Neil symbolized the moving paintings of Lynch.
Significantly, however, the beautiful, dimunitive and feisty Lt. Jordan O’Neil also acted, looked and talked like the equally beautiful, dimunitve and feisty Princess Leia Organna-played by Carrie Fisher-in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy throughout the film, implicitly linking her to Lucas. Indeed, if you changed Lt. O’Neil’s name slightly to Neil O’Jordan, her name looked and sounded like Leia Organna, affirming her implicit link to Lucas. Lt. O’Neil’s implicit link to Lucas was reaffirmed halfway through the film when she shaved her head so as to fit in with the other implicitly film artist linked SEAL trainees, for her shaven head evoked the shaven headed men and women of the allegorical Lucas film, THX 1138 (1971). The computer screen filled battle rooms that opened and closed the film also recalled similar computer screen filled battle rooms in the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy, reaffirming the possibility that Sir Scott was reaching out to Lucas in G. I. JANE in a complete about face from the implicit roasts he gave Lucas in ALIEN, LEGEND, THE DUELLISTS and THELMA AND LOUISE. If so, G.I. JANE was one of the many films released in the mid to late Nineties that implicitly urged Lucas to get his CGI enhanced J.D. Jedi game on and return to the Temple Theatre with another film, which he did soon after with the implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting and CGI enhanced allegorical film, STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999). In which case, the sympathetic and implicitly Lynch linked CO Salem was present to remind Lucas, in the doghouse like Lynch at the time, that he was not the only film artist to go through bad times, and that he should press on regardless in a repetition of the supportive message of WHITE SQUALL.
However, while some uncertainty surrounded the identity of the film artist that Lt. O’Neil was implicitly linked to, there was little uncertainty surrounding the film artist that Master Chief Urgayle was implicitly linked to throughout the film. For the surname of Urgayle evoked Gale Hurd, the ex-wife of Cameron and the producer of ALIENS and THE TERMINATOR, implying that Urgayle was linked to Cameron. This implicit link was affirmed by the fact that Urgayle shared Cameron’s intimidating height, belittling manner and obsession with detail, while his love of the poetry of D.H. Lawrence-particularly ‘Self Pity’-linked him to art and artists. In addition, the nightmarish nighttime training battlescape filled with attacking machines that the SEAL trainees had to fight their way through at one point evoked the nightmarish visions of the dark and blockbuster machine battling future in the Terminator films, reaffirming Urgayle’s implicit link to Cameron. Last but not least, Urgayle’s attempted rape of O’Neil late in the SEAL training programme evoked the attempted rape of Thelma by the implicitly Cameron linked Puckett in THELMA AND LOUISE, reaffirming Urgayle’s implicit link to Cameron.
Alas for Lucas, Lynch and Sir Scott, while Master Chief Urgayle was humbled at the end of G.I. JANE when Lt. O’Neil’s furious and forced ringing of the washout bell-a symbol of solitary failure rather than collective and triumphant solidarity as in WHITE SQUALL, though a refusal to ring the bell did unite the successful trainees-during the SEAL training was annulled and she succeeded in becoming the first female U.S. Navy SEAL, Cameron triumphed over Sir Scott and everyone else that year with the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Zonebuster, TITANIC (1997), like Lucas triumphed over everyone in ’77 with STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE. A titanic and CGI enhanced triumph that implicitly encouraged Sir Scott to finally embrace CGI enhancement when he teamed up again with Zimmer and G. I. JANE production designer Arthur Max and editor Pietro Scalia to implicitly and sympathetically roast the return of Lucas to the Temple Theatre in his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed docufeature artbuster, GLADIATOR (2000).
‘There was once a dream that was Rome.’
Indeed, the inability of famed, betrayed and implicitly Lucas linked Roman General ‘Mad’ Maximus Decimus Meridius-played by Russell Crowe-to return from the dead and replace the fortune and glory lusting reign of his betrayer, the implicitly Spielberg linked Emperor Commodus-played by Joaquin Phoenix-with a liberated new era of Roma thoughtfully overseen again by a freely elected Senate was implicitly linked throughout the film to the failure of Lucas to return to the Temple Theatre first time since 1977 with his own film and sweep away the reign of fortune and glory lusting film artists like Spielberg and their CGI enhanced blockbuster beasts and kick off a liberated and higher minded new era of CGI enhanced indie film art for film art’s sake with STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE. The implicit allegorical intent of GLADIATOR was affirmed by the support given ‘Mad’ Maximus by the embittered and implicitly Coppola linked ex-gladiator, Cicero-played by Oliver Reed-for this support evoked the lifelong support given Lucas by Coppola.
Of course, the sight and sound of ‘Mad’ Maximus working hard to regain the approval of audiences by fighting one bloody and gruelling gladiator bout after another reminded us that Sir Scott had also worked for years to regain the approval of audiences after the BLADE RUNNER and LEGEND disasters by creating one gruelling film after another. Thus, it was fitting that audiences were so impressed with GLADIATOR that they finally forgave and re-embraced the battle-scarred Sir Scott-despite the ironic fact that GLADIATOR also openly mocked the CGI enhanced violence of Zone War films and their baying and bloodthirsty Cineplex Coliseum audiences. The august and fickle Academy were also impressed, giving GLADIATOR the thumb up and awarding Sir Scott his first two Oscars for Best Actor and Best Film, finally giving him something to crow about and rewarding him for all of the long and embittering years he had spent in the wilderness.
Curiously, the same victorious year Sir Scott co-produced with executive producer Tony Scott the allegorical Marek Kanevska film, WHERE THE MONEY IS (2000), which revolved around Paul Newman’s successful and implicitly Landis and Tin Man linked elderly bank robber, Henry Manning. In addition, Bryan Singer curiously and satirically linked the cigar smoking and scowling Sir Scott to the cigar smoking and scowling James ‘Wolverine’ Howlett-a character created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, John Romita sr. and Herb Trimpe for Marvel Comics, and played by Hugh Jackman-in the twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical super satirical film, X-MEN (2000).
All in all it was a satisfying way to begin the new millennium of indie northern rebel film art, which no doubt inspired Sir Scott to team up again with Scalia, Spencer, Zimmer and director of photography John Mathieson and costume designer Janty Yates from GLADIATOR to implicitly address Cronenberg again in the macabre, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, HANNIBAL (2001), an aptly named film, given that ‘Mad’ Maximus was called upon to portray the Carthaginian general in one of his gladiator bouts, and inspired by the allegorical Richard Harris bestseller, Hannibal (1999), the author’s name curiously evoking the appearance of Richard Harris as the Emperor Marcus Aurelius in GLADIATOR.
‘He once told me that whenever feasible,
he preferred to eat the rude.’
For the intelligent, educated, shrewd, knowing, cultured, sensitive, sophisticated, insightful, art loving, mischievously psychopathic, twistedly moral and implicitly Great Oz linked Doctor Hannibal Lector-played by Hopkins-was implicitly linked to Cronenberg David throughout HANNIBAL. Indeed, the exuberantly serial killing Dr. Lector evoked the implicitly Cronenberg linked serial killer Dr. John ‘Jack the Ripper’ Stevenson in TIME AFTER TIME throughout the film, implicitly affirming the Cronenberg addressing intent of HANNIBAL. Not surprisingly, most of the people Dr. Hannibal tracked down and killed or tormented over the course of the film were also implicitly linked to film artists.
Indeed, Dr. Lector’s first victim, Giancarlo Giannini’s implicitly Cowardly Lion linked Florence Police detective Commendatore Rinaldo Pazzi, repaid for foolishly lusting after all of the fortune and glory of capturing Dr. Lector for the FBI himself in the crowded and labyrinthine streets of implicitly Emerald City linked Florence-streets that evoked those of ancient Rome in GLADIATOR and L.A. 2019 of BLADE RUNNER-was implicitly linked to Luc Besson, perhaps roasted by Sir Scott for turning from indie film art like the twilit and allegorical film, LE DERNIER COMBAT (1983), to twilit, allegorical, big budget and CGI enhanced film art like THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997). Indeed, Pazzi’s young wife, Allegra-played by Francesca Neri-resembled and was implicitly linked to Milla Jovovich, Besson’s young wife at the time and star of such twilit and allegorical Besson films as THE FIFTH ELEMENT and THE MESSENGER (1999), in which she played Leeloo and the doomed Joan of Arc, respectively.
Dr. Lector’s second victim, Mason Verger-played by Gary Oldman, who played the Evil Zorg in THE FIFTH ELEMENT-the implicitly Scarecrow linked scion of a wealthy American family who lusted after the murder of Lector after his face was horrifically maimed under Lector’s direction, was implicitly linked to Tim Burton. Last but not least, Julianne Moore’s obsessively pursuing and implicitly Dorothy linked FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling, was implicitly linked to Kathryn Bigelow throughout the film. Twistedly serious fun, indeed, putting Sir Scott in a good humour to team up again with Max, Scalia, Zimmer and Zeljko Ivanek-who played Verger’s aide, Doctor Cordell Doemling, in HANNIBAL-and pre-empt the twentieth anniversary of the TZ disaster in 2002 with an implicit reflection on the disaster and on the inability of film artists to free the world of film art from the grip of the TZ disaster and kickoff a daylit new era of CGI enhanced film art in his next twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001), inspired by the Mark Bowden bestseller, Black Hawk Down (1999).
‘They wouldn’t understand why we do it.’
Indeed, the inability of the implicitly Spielberg linked Major General William F. Garrison-played by Sam Shepard-to successfully command a joint operations group consisting of members of Delta Force, the Rangers and the 160th SOAR and capture the notorious, mysterious, never seen and, hence, Great Oz linked Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid and two key lieutenants during a meeting in the Bakara market area of central, war torn and implicitly Emerald City linked Mogadishu in October of 1992, the tenth anniversary year of the TZ disaster, was implicitly linked to the failure of Spielberg-who was the overall commander of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE as he came up with the idea to make the film and hired Folsey and Landis to create their episode-to oversee a successful and fatal disaster free TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE throughout the film. Indeed, the presence of Tom Sizemore as Lieutenant Colonel Daniel McKnight affirmed the implicit interest in Spielberg in the film, as Sizemore played the implicitly Kubrick linked Sergeant Horvath in the twilit and allegorical Spielberg film, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998), a film that was evoked throughout BLACK HAWK DOWN.
The fact that the beastly black biomechanical Black Hawk helicopters with their loads of Delta Force soldiers were filmed as they took off from the ‘Mog’ airport and flew toward the city on their fateful mission in a way that evoked the helicopter attack on the village in APOCALYPSE NOW, affirmed the film’s implicit interest in New Hollywood film artists and films about the Vietnam War, including the Vietnam War portions of the Landis episode of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. The fact that the black and deadly biomechanical Black Hawk beasts also evoked the equally black and deadly biomechanical beast of a L.A. police helicopter in the twilit and allegorical John Badham film, BLUE THUNDER (1983), reaffirmed the film’s link to 1983, the year of the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE. In addition, as the black and beastly biomechanical dragonflys took to the air, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s version of the allegorical Jimi Hendrix tune, ‘Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)’ from ELECTRIC LADYLAND (1968), played on the soundtrack. This reminded us that the song had first appeared on the allegorical SRV and Double Trouble recording, COULDN’T STAND THE WEATHER (1983), reaffirming the film’s link to 1983, the year of the release of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
Of course, the sound of the Hendrix cover also reminded us that Vaughan was killed in a helicopter crash on the night of August 27, 1990, while leaving an outdoor concert in East Troy, Wisconsin, setting us up for the Black Hawk crashes to come. Of course, the two Black Hawk helicopters that were shot down during the chaotic operation evoked the downed helicopter of the TZ disaster, particularly the second, which its rear rotor was taken out. For the sight reminded audiences that the fateful helicopter in the TZ disaster was also brought down when its rear rotor was taken out by a fireball caused by an on set special effects explosion on the Landis set of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
The big difference between the film and the real life TZ disaster was that Major General Garrison took full responsibility for the disastrous mission and its failure to capture Aidid, unlike Spielberg, who never took responsibility for the disaster despite being the man who hired Folsey, Kennedy, Landis and Marshall to work on the film in the first place. Thus, Sir Scott implied that he felt that Spielberg should have taken that responsibility, and that the failure to do so had caused the Zone Wars to drag on as long as they had as much as the not guilty verdict in the TZ disaster trial that freed Landis and his four co-defendants in 1987. An allegorical battle that would not end no matter how big and determined were the films that tried to end it-like BLACK HAWK DOWN and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN-or how many film artists-implicitly symbolized by the soldiers of BLACK HAWK DOWN and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN-threw themselves into the fray. It was an embittered emphasis on sound leadership and responsibility that had already been emphasized in 1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE, WHITE SQUALL, G.I. JANE and GLADIATOR.
Significantly, this bitterness appeared to have been softened by the success of BLACK HAWK DOWN and HANNIBAL, the surprise success of LEGEND when it was released as a Director’s Cut in 2002 and the implicit link of Sir Scott to Wolverine-played again by Jackman-in the twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical Singer film, X-MEN UNITED (2002). For Sir Scott left behind the dark and bloody battles of BLACK HAWK DOWN and lightened up when he teamed up again with Mathieson and Zimmer to implicitly address Lynch again in the unusually and refreshingly tragicomic, twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, MATCHSTICK MEN (2003), inspired by the allegorical Eric Garcia novel, Matchstick Men (2002).
‘For some folks, money is a foreign film without subtitles.’
Indeed, chain smoking, obsessive compulsive, highly phobic and implicitly Cowardly Lion linked Los Angeles small time con artist and lonely divorced bachelor, Roy Waller-played by Cage-was implicitly linked to the equally quirky, chain smoking and Los Angeles based Lynch throughout the film, an implicit link affirmed by the presence of Cage-who, ironically, played the implicitly Sir Scott linked Sailor Ripley in WILD AT HEART-and by the film’s allusions to the twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting, MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001). The surname of Waller also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch, reminding us that the music of Fats Waller was heard in the allegorical Lynch moving painting, ERASERHEAD (1977). Waller’s first con victim in the film, one Irene Fisk, reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lynch, reminding us that Jack Fisk was an actor and a production helper in ERASERHEAD, and production designer on MULHOLLAND DRIVE and the twilit and allegorical Lynch moving painting, THE STRAIGHT STORY (1999).
Significantly, Waller’s many quirks and obsessions not only prevented him from getting his life back together with the help of his estranged teenaged daughter, the curiously and implicitly Dorothy and Wicked Witch of the West linked Angela-played by Alison Lohman-but also prevented him from ending his con man career by pulling off one last big ‘long con’ on Bruce McGill’s Besson resembling and implicitly linked, and implicitly Great Oz linked, Chuck Frechette. For Angela and Frechette were revealed, to Waller’s embarrassment, to be parties to a last big long con on Waller that was organized by his protégé, ‘good friend’ and fellow con artist, the implicitly Scarecrow linked Frank Mercer-played by Sam Rockwell. Thus, in the final and embarrassing failure of Waller to succeed with one last con due to his many quirks and phobias, Sir Scott implied that the many quirks and phobias of Lynch had also prevented him from succeeding with MULHOLLAND DRIVE. Indeed, the fact that Angela’s named evoked both Los Angeles and L. A. underlined that Sir Scott felt that Lynch had mistakenly thought that he could become ‘Le Roy’ of Hollywood again as in the old days. The sight of Waller sheepishly learning his lesson, giving up on crime and hooking up with the friendly and implicitly Bigelow linked grocery cashier, Kathy-played by Sheila Kelley-in the end was also one last satirical dig at Lynch and Bigelow. For Bigelow and Lynch were not likely to leave behind film art and retire a happily married couple, given that Bigelow had implicitly blasted Lynch in such twilit and allegorical films as THE LOVELESS (1982)-co-directed with Lafayette Montgomery-POINT BREAK (1991) and THE WEIGHT OF WATER (2000).
Curiously, after implicitly telling Lynch that he could not become ‘Le Roy’ again, Sir Scott then implicitly gave Lucas the same message when he teamed up again with Mathieson, Max and Yates to implicitly and sympathetically address Lucas once again and fused the brutal combat of BLACK HAWK DOWN with the epic scope of GLADIATOR in his next twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005).
‘There, at the end of the world, you are not
wat you were born but what you have it in yourself
Curiously, the film began with an unusual, creative and literal animated moving painting apparently created by Gianluigi Toccafondo of Acme Filmworks. This animated moving painting first saw a man in a long coat seen walking along lost in thought, then he appeared to light a cigarette or cigar with a match. The sight reminded us of Sir Scott’s fondness for cigars, suggesting that the animated figure symbolized him. The light of the match caused a searchlight to appear behind him, sending him fleeing into the darkness. As he fled the searchlight, he slowly transformed into a falcon or a hawk and flew away, only to settle down between the painted words Scott Free. Then the moving painting froze, and turned aquamarine. Of course, this Scott Free animated painting implicitly affirmed that the spirit of Sir Scott was indeed soaring after his recent successes, and forever after kicked off all of his films.
Then the film began in France in 1184 with a young and implicitly Scarecrow linked blacksmith named Balian-played by Orlando Bloom-mourning the death of his child and the subsequent suicide of his young wife-played by Nathalie Cox. Significantly, Balian’s wife resembled Natalie Portman, wrapping up her role as Padme Amidala that year in the twilit, CGI enhanced and implicitly Cameron and Spielberg roasting allegorical Lucas film, STAR WARS EPISODE I: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005), linking the film to Lucas and his STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy. This implicit interest in Lucas and his STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy was openly affirmed when Balian soon discovered that he was the illegitimate son of Baron Godfrey of Ibelin-played by Liam Neeson-for Neeson played rebellious and doomed Jedi Knight Qui Gonn Jinn in STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE. Not long after this revelation, Baron Godfrey died, but not before he persuaded Balian to leave behind the tragic death of his wife and child and join him in Jerusalem fighting to preserve peace between Christian and Moslem in the Holy City. As the death of Godfrey and his replacement by Balian reminded us that the reputation of Lucas had been ‘killed’ by poor quality of the allegorical, implicitly Spielberg roasting and Richard Marquand trimax of the Classic Trilogy, STAR WARS EPISODE VI: RETURN OF THE JEDI (1983), and by creating films with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg after the TZ disaster, and that Lucas was trying to rise from the ashes of his own self created demise like a human phoenix with his new STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy, the implication was that Baron Godfrey symbolized the STAR WARS Classic Trilogy Lucas and that Baron Balian symbolized the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy Lucas.
Alas for Lucas, his dream of rebirth with the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy did not happen, as the new trilogy was rejected by audiences. Thus, it was no surprise to see Baron Balian of Godfrey also fail to unite Christians and Moslems in peaceful harmony in implicitly Emerald City and Hollywood linked Jerusalem, instead watching as the city fell to the massive Moslem army of Saladin-played by Ghassan Massoud-after too many impertinent attacks on Moslems by Christian hardliners were wanted the city for themselves and being forced to flee the Holy City with the rest of the surviving Christians after the final battle. For the failure of Balian evoked the failure of Lucas, affirming the implicit link of the two men and implicitly affirming the conviction of Sir Scott that there was no returning to former glory for Lucas, as there had been no implicit returning to former glory for Lynch in MATCHSTICK MEN. As the name of Saladin created the anagram ‘Laandis’, Sir Scott also implied his conviction that Lucas had failed to end the dread allegorical Zone Wars with the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy.
Luckily for Sir Scott, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN was also more successful than STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH that year. This allowed Sir Scott to finally triumph over Lucas after all these years with an implicit Lucas bashing film ironically released by Twentieth Century Fox-the distributors of all six of the STAR WARS films-really driving the blade home. This allowed Sir Scott to briefly relax, smile, laugh and team up again with Crowe, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN editor Dody Dorn and Albert Finney-who played Fouche in THE DUELLISTS-and leave behind medieval France for contemporary France in order to celebrate his good year with another unusually light hearted and humourous film whose high spirits and title reflected his good year in 2005, the twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, A GOOD YEAR (2006), inspired by the allegorical Peter Mayle novel, A Good Year (2004).
Curiously, the tragicomic saga of a young, cocky, money obsessed and implicitly Jason Reitman linked English financial wizard named ‘Mad’ Maximilian ‘Max’ Skinner-played by Crowe-who inherited a chateau in Provence from his deceased and implicitly Ivan Reitman linked Uncle Henry Skinner-played by Finney-and ultimately decided to fake a will and give the Chateau La Siroque to Uncle Henry’s possibly illegitimate American daughter, Christie Roberts-played by Abbie Cornish-instead of selling it to so as to allow her to redevelop the chateau’s famous indie wine implicitly urged the young and cocky Reitman-who had burst on to the scene the year before with his brash and allegorical film, THANK YOU FOR SMOKING (2005)-to cultivate and create memorable indie film art like his father rather than sell out and make blockbuster beasts for Hollywood. For the art of creating great wine was linked to the art of creating great film art throughout the film, as befitting a film called A GOOD YEAR, with its connotation of a good wine year, a year as good as the one that both young Reitman and Sir Scott enjoyed in 2005 with the successes of THANK YOU FOR SMOKING and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
At any rate, A GOOD YEAR was the most openly Ozian themed film Sir Scott had yet made, with the perennially twilit, grey, gloom, manmade and lifelessness of the London of the implicitly Scarecrow linked Skinner evoking the black and white film used to shoot Kansas in the prologue and epilogue of THE WIZARD OF OZ. By contrast, the au natural, vibrantly colourful, lively and living Provence of his implicitly Great Oz linked Uncle Henry-who evoked Charley Grapewin’s Uncle Henry in THE WIZARD OF OZ-evoked the colour and zest of Oz throughout the film. Indeed, upon his arrival in Provence to inspect the chateau, Skinner evoked Dorothy-implicitly linked to Christie-upon her arrival in vibrant and florid Munchkinland, openly affirming the film’s implicit link to THE WIZARD OF OZ.
Then Sir Scott implied his hope that a daylit new era of CGI enhanced film art would lead to a triumph over Cameron, as seen in the triumph over the implicitly Cameron linked Irish King Donnchadh-played by David O’Hara-in the allegorical Kevin Reynolds film, TRISTAN + ISOLDE (2006), a film partly co-produced by the Scott Free brothers. A new film art era also filled with CGI enhanced super satires like the twilit and allegorical Brett Ratner film, X-MEN: THE LAST STAND (2007), which again implicitly linked Sir Scott to Wolverine-played again by Jackman.
A cheerful, hopeful and sunny optimism missing when Sir Scott stubbornly returned to Retropolis with the strangely well received release of the still inconsistent and incomprehensible but CGI enhanced twenty-fifth anniversary Ultimate Edition of BLADE RUNNER (2007), a further retrofitted version of this Great Flawed Film. However, despite the despair of BLADE RUNNER, a hopeful optimism continued when Sir Scott teamed up again with Crowe, Max, Scalia, Yates and A GOOD YEAR composer/music supervisor Marc Streitenfeld on his next twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007).
‘With you out of the way,
everything can return to normal.’
Curiously, the sight of up and coming New York indie heroin importer and dealer Frank Lucas-played by Denzel Washington-learning the ropes from long time gangster Ellsworth ‘Bumpy’ Johnson-played by Clarence Williams III-and going on to successfully take over the biz after Johnson’s death with the help of his brothers reminded us that Cameron had learned the film art ropes from established indie film artist Roger Corman before going on to be a successful indie film artist with the help of his brothers, implicitly and ironically linking Lucas to Cameron. Indeed, the implicit link of Lucas to Cameron was affirmed by his implicitly Bigelow linked girlfriend, fiancée and wife, Eva-played by Lymari Nadal-for she reminded us that Cameron was once married to Bigelow. Significantly, the rebel Sixties set film was also a study in contrasts that saw Crowe’s law abiding and educated Newark, New Jersey Police Detective Richie Roberts-his name evoking Christie Roberts in A GOOD YEAR, also linking him to indie film art-tracking down and eventually arresting the lawless and uneducated Lucas and his gang with the help of his indie Essex County narcotics squad.
Significantly, the popularity of the pure heroin that Lucas imported from Vietnam reminded audiences that the development of equally popular CGI enhanced film art was spurred on by a desire to create dangerous effects without causing anymore fatal film set disasters, implying that Sir Scott was linking heroin addiction to CGI enhanced film art addiction. Particularly the new addiction for CGI enhanced animated and superhero films, as the name of Richie Roberts evoked that of Marvel Comics superheroes with equally alliterative names like the implicitly Cronenberg linked Peter ‘Spiderman’ Parker-played by Tobey Maguire-in the twilit and allegorical Sami Raimi film, SPIDER-MAN (2002), and the implicitly Richard Kelly linked Matt ‘Daredevil’ Murdoch in the twilit and allegorical Mark S. Johnson film, DAREDEVIL (2003). Indeed, one of the friends of Roberts named Joey-played by Richie Coster-looked like Walt Disney, affirming the film’s implicit interest in the new CGI enhanced animated film art.
At any rate, Sir Scott soon teamed up again with Crowe, Max, Scalia, Streitenfeld, Yates and KINGDOM OF HEAVEN screenwriter William Monahan to implicitly address Richard Kelly in his next twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, BODY OF LIES (2008), inspired by the allegorical David Ignatius novel, Body Of Lies (2007).
‘The light is on you, motherfucker!’
For the young, brash, confident, indie, knowing and talented Middle Eastern CIA field Agent Roger Ferris-played by Leonardo Di Caprio-was implicitly linked to the Scarecrow and the equally young, brash, confident, indie, knowing and talented Kelly throughout the film, an implicit link affirmed by the film’s allusions to the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Kelly film, SOUTHLAND TALES (2006). Significantly, since the embattled Agent Ferris was forced to experience quite a few embittering, embarrassing and humbling trials and tribulations before finally capturing the implicitly Spielberg linked terrorist leader, Al-Saleem-played by Alon Aboutboul-Sir Scott implicitly warned Kelly not to get too cocky, kid, and expect some equally embittering, embarrassing and humbling trials and tribulations before he truly succeeded as a film artist. Since Al-Saleem was indeed captured in the end, with the devious help of the more experienced, callous, Virginia and Washington based and implicitly Tin Man linked CIA Near East Division head Ed Hoffman-implicitly linked to Lynch, and played by Crowe-who spied on Ferris from CIA HQ via film art evoking drone and satellite cameras throughout the film, Sir Scott also implicitly urged Kelly to let go of the fondness for Spielberg that he implicitly expressed in SOUTHLAND TALES and in his first twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced film, DONNIE DARKO (2001).
Curiously, the collaboration between Ferris and Hoffman and the entire film itself constantly evoked the collaboration between CIA men Tom Bishop and Nathan Muir-played by Brad Pitt and Robert Redford, respectively-in the allegorical Tony Scott film, SPY GAME (2001), implying that Sir Scott was also replying to his younger brother in BODY OF LIES. At any rate, the daylit ending of BODY OF LIES-with the equally mysterious colleagues of big Hoffman brother back in implicitly Emerald City linked Washington watching Ferris in an Amman market via crystal ball satellite surveillance cameras again-affirmed that Sir Scott was still committed to a daylit new era of Ozian themed indie film art.
Curiously, with its allusions to BODY OF LIES and to the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced Richard Kelly films, DONNIE DARKO (2001) and SOUTHLAND TALES (2006), Jason Reitman implied that he was roasting Kelly and Sir Scott in the implicit form of termination facilitator, Ryan Bingham and his boss, Craig Gregory-played by George Clooney and Jason Bateman, respectively-and urging both film artists not to get so caught up with the new digital film technology that they would lose the vital humanity of their film art in his allegorical film, UP IN THE AIR (2009). Then the Scott Brothers implicitly reaffirmed their commitment to a daylit new era of film art that literally transpired over the course of one sunny day, Saturday, July 24, 2010-pointedly a day after the twilit and disastrous day of July 23, 1982-from 4500 hours of digicam footage taken by thousands of people in 192 countries around the world and edited together in the Scott Free brother executive produced, allegorical and Ozian themed Kevin Macdonald documentary, LIFE IN A DAY (2010).
‘It’s the best day ever!’
Indeed, the opening shots of the full moon in the cloud scudding early morning sky of July 24, 2010-shots that recalled similar shots at the beginning of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON-implicitly affirmed that the Scott brothers and Macdonald were breaking free from Landis and his twilit and disastrous grip in LIFE IN A DAY. A co-director filming himself howling like a wolf at the moon, and another director, a Pakistani man with arms and legs covered in thick, black and wolf-like hair in the first images in the film reaffirmed the implicit interest in Landis. However, when sunrise and daylight swept the night and twilight-like dawn away, the film and its wandering camera eyes attached to any moving object more closely resembled a huge, global, full colour and multi-contributor version of BOY AND BICYCLE, with the Scott brothers encouraging the world to skip school and join them in doing their own indie Scott free thing for a sunlit day, whether on film or otherwise.
Indeed, the implicit link to BOY AND BICYCLE was affirmed by Korean world cyclist, Okhwan Yoon, filmed in Katmandu, Nepal, as he neared the end of his epic world bicycling journey with 190 countries toured, implicitly affirming that the Scott Free brothers were encouraging the world to do their own independent thing in LIFE IN A DAY-as well as recalled cyclist Noel L. Walcott III, also seen pursuing his own indie cycling path in Utah in THELMA AND LOUISE. In fact, Yoon and his epic and gruelling world cycling journey implicitly symbolized the equally epic and gruelling film journeys of the Scott Free brothers, for the six times Yoon had been hit by cars on his journey evoking the box office flops of the brothers Scott. At any rate, the Scott Fee brothers implicitly hoped that their journey, like Yoon’s journey, would not be in vain, and would help lead to an end to the twilit grip of Landis and the TZ disaster on film. For the positive daylit imagery and vibes in LIFE IN A DAY and its emphasis on birth and life rather than death and dying confirmed that optimistic hope. The candle lit and propelled balloons that filled the newly dark sky after sunset at the end of the film implicitly reaffirmed that hope, continuing the daylight and conquering the darkness as they drifted gently into the night sky like the Great Oz in his balloon at the end of THE WIZARD OF OZ.
An uplifting ending, indeed, and one that faded away like the candle propelled balloons when Sir Scott outdid earlier films like THE DUELLISTS and BODY OF LIES that implicitly addressed one Canadian film artist when he teamed up once more with Crowe, Mathieson, Max, Scalia, Streitenfeld, Yates, Velibor Topic-who played Almaric in KINGDOM OF HEAVEN-and Simon McBurney, Oscar Isaac and Mark Strong-who played the implicitly Great Oz linked and fittingly surnamed Garland, Bassam and the implicitly Cowardly Lion linked Jordanian intelligence chief Hani Salaam, respectively, in BODY OF LIES-on his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, ROBIN HOOD (2010).
‘Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.’
Indeed, the film was an implicit Canucklepalooza. For embattled unrest erupted in England after the death in battle in France of the implicitly Cameron linked King Richard the Lionheart-played by Danny Huston-while on the way home from his last Crusade-an ironic death, given that King Richard the Lionheart-played by Iain Glen-was first seen heading off to his last crusade at the end of KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. Embattled unrest fomented by the devious and perhaps Besson linked King Phillip of France-played by Jonathan Zaccai-who turned the noblemen and people of England against the new and implicitly Xavier Dolan linked King John-played by Isaac-by having the Evil Sir Godfrey-played by Strong-attack English cities and towns with a small army and informing the inhabitants that the attacks were ordered by the new King. This led to a number of implicitly Canadian film artist linked noblemen like the implicitly Cronenberg linked Sir Walter Loxley sr.-played by Max Von Sydow-the implicitly Don Shebib linked Baron Baldwin-played by Robert Pugh-and the implicitly Ted Kotcheff linked Baron Fitzrobert-played by Gerard McSorley-join up with the implicitly Reitman linked Robin ‘the Hood’ Longstrides-played by Crowe-the implicitly Diablo Cody or Sarah Polley linked Marion Loxley-played by Kate Blanchett-and the implicitly Bruce McDonald linked Friar Tuck-played by Mark Addy-to rally by the side of King John and fight off a French invasion force led by King Phillip and Sir Godfrey and aided by the implicitly Denis Villeneuve linked Belvedere-played by Topic. This the English defenders did, only to be betrayed by King John when he rewarded the staunch Anglo Canadian defenders by proclaiming a dictatorship, perhaps Sir Scott’s way of saying that Dolan was too fond of himself and of publicity, unlike most other Canadian film artists, and would hurt the reputation of Canadian film art with his narcissism.
Like his implicitly open support for Lynch in WHITE SQUALL, Sir Scott implicitly came out in open support of Canuck film artists in the film. For the Sir Scott resembling and implicitly linked William Marshal-played by William Hurt-supported the implicitly Canadian film artist linked defenders who saved England from King Phillip and then fled to the sanctuary of Sherwood Forest to continue to defend England against King John’s dictatorial rule at the end of the film. Sir Scott’s implicit interest in Canada and its film artists and film art was reaffirmed by the cities of Peterborough and York, for they evoked cities and regions in Ontario. Heck, just by creating ROBIN HOOD the Northern Rebel implicitly affirmed his support for Canadian film art and film artists, for the film recalled the allegorical film, ROBIN HOOD (1922), whose creation was overseen by Toronto born and raised film artist, Allan Dwan.
For his part, Jon Favreau implicitly roasted Sir Scott in the implicit form of pesky supervillain, Ivan ‘Black Tsar’ Vanko-played by Mickey Rourke-who was taken on and taken out by the implicitly Reitman linked Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark-played by Robert Downey, jr.-in his twilit, CGI enhanced and allegorical super satirical film, IRON MAN 2 (2010), an implication affirmed by the film’s allusions to BODY OF LIES, MATCHSTICK MEN and UP IN THE AIR. Curiously, however, Sir Scott morphed from marvellous supervillain to superhero the following year when he implicitly returned to the big screen as Clint ‘Hawkeye’ Barton-played by Jeremy Renner-in the allegorical and CGI enhanced Kenneth Branagh super satirical film, THOR (2011). As for Sir Scott, he implicitly roasted Cameron and Cronenberg again when he teamed up again with Max, Scalia, Streitenfeld, Yates and Idris Alba-who played a gang leader named Tango in AMERICAN GANGSTER-and broke with his tradition of creating only staunchly original indie film art with a sequel to ALIEN in his next twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed, CGI enhanced and realistic Scott Free docufeature artbuster, PROMETHEUS (2012).
‘The Titan Prometheus wanted to give mankind equal footing with the gods and for that, he was cast from Olympus. Well, my friends, the time has finally come for his return.’
Curiously, the film began with a prologue that saw a CGI spacecraft dropping off a muscle bound ‘Engineer’-played by Daniel James-by a waterfall on an unnamed planet. The muscle bound spacefarer then drank a virulent substance that caused him to fall into the waterfall and dissolve, infecting the planet’s waterways with his disease, perhaps implying that Sir Scott believed the wave of twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical films being released by DC/Warners and Disney/Marvel were an equally virulent disease that was plaguing the Temple Theatre. After the prologue, the film soon cut to a shot of the huge and CGI realized Scientific Exploratory Vessel Prometheus arriving at an unidentified planet on December 21, 2093. Significantly, this sight evoked the sight of the huge and CGI realized Venture Star arriving at the planet Polyphemus at the beginning of the allegorical and CGI enhanced Cameron film, AVATAR (2009), which also arrived in the Temple Theatre shortly before Christmas-albeit in 2009-implying that Sir Scott was replying to AVATAR as well as addressing allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical films in PROMETHEUS.
Indeed, one of the members of team of scientists on Prometheus was the Cameron resembling and implicitly linked Scotsman, Fifield-played by Sean Harris-affirming that Sir Scott was replying to AVATAR on one level in PROMETHEUS. And clearly not too impressed with Cameron’s implicit optimism about the CGI enhanced film era that he expressed in AVATAR, given that Fifield and most of the rest of the crew of the Prometheus were killed by CGI enhanced beasts or killed in the process of transforming into CGI enhanced beasts by the end of the film. In fact, given that two of the only members of the crew who survived PROMETHEUS-the implicitly Cronenberg and Tin Man linked android, David-played by Michael Fassbender-and the implicitly Sofia Coppola and Dorothy linked Doctor Elizabeth ‘Ellie’ Shaw-played by Noomi Rapace-were linked to film artists who mostly eschewed CGI enhancement of their film art, Sir Scott implied that film artists who eschewed CGI enhancement would ensure the survival of film art, even as the arrival of the CGI enhanced film art era would simply inflict even bigger and nastier blockbuster beasts on audiences, film art, film artists and the Temple Theatre than ever before.
Literally, as PROMETHEUS ended with a new, improved, angrily hissing and even more Wicked CGI enhanced biomechanical blockbuster alien beast being born out of the shattered remains of the last muscle bound Engineer-one who evoked the equally rampaging Thing in THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD!, and played by Ian Whyte-again also implying that Sir Scott just as unimpressed with CGI enhanced super satirical films as he was with AVATAR. This birth of an even more beastly CGI enhanced alien than ever before implied that Sir Scott believed that the hopeful and film set disaster preventing CGI enhanced film art age that had been ushered in by Lucas and Spielberg would be killed by the CGI enhanced blockbuster beast. Indeed, the birth of this even more alienated and CGI enhanced black biomechanical blockbuster beast took place in the same flickering and film projector evoking light as that seen at the shocking end of LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR and the more healing and soothing end of ALIEN, affirming the link to film art of this new CGI enhanced and pitiless beast.
Curiously, the head of the expedition was Meredith Vickers was played by Charlize Theron, who played the implicitly Gary W. Wright linked Mavis Gary the year before in the allegorical and implicitly Wright roasting Reitman film, YOUNG ADULT (2011). This link to YOUNG ADULT was openly affirmed by the presence of Patrick Wilson as Dr. Shaw’s father in a hologram flashback, as Wilson played Buddy Slade in YOUNG ADULT. The surname of Vickers and another space expedition member named Ford-played by Kate Dickie-reaffirmed a curious interest in YOUNG ADULT and roasting Wright, for the surnames evoked a teacher surnamed Vickers-Shewman and a vice-principal surnamed Ford who Wright worked with at that time at Streetsville Secondary School in the Streetsville ‘town in a city’ section of Mississauga. The presence of another expedition member implicitly linked to Tim Burton and surnamed Millburn-played by Rafe Spall-reaffirmed the film’s implicit interest in Wright, reminding us that he lived on Mill Street in Streetsville at the time of the release of PROMETHEUS.
All of which turned out to be fittingly and garishly prescient, for after Joss Whedon again implicitly linked Sir Scott to Barton-played again by Renner-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film, MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS (2012), Sir Scott did indeed implicitly address Zone War film ‘scholar’ Wright when he teamed up again with Fassbender, Max, Pitt, Scalia, Yates and Darusz Wolski-director of photography of PROMETHEUS-on his next twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, THE COUNSELOR (2013).
‘I’m all right.’
Indeed, Sir Scott implied that the tragicomic tale of the naïve lawyer-Fassbender’s eponymous Counselor-whose life was destroyed when his beautiful wife, Laura-played by Penelope Cruz-was murdered after he infuriated duplicitous and blockbuster loot lusting Colombian drug dealers and the malignant and implicitly Wicked Witch of the West linked Malkina-played by Cameron Diaz-was his allegorical way of telling the poor ol’ Gardevil that he was also foolish and naïve to think that he could save or transform film art with his ‘scholarly’ website without irritating and provoking a backlash from equally duplicitous and blockbuster loot lusting Hollywood and its favourite groveling quisling, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Indeed, Sir Scott affirmed his implicit intent by the name of Malkina, which could mean ‘bad kino’ or ‘bad cinema’. The black SUVs that Malkina’s thugs drove to carry out their dirty deeds also evoked the black SUVs seen carrying around film artists and stars each year at TIFF, affirming Malkina’s implicit link to TIFF.
Curiously, Sir Scott also implied his fear that Wright’s ‘revelations’ would destroy Toronto film art and artists, just as the naivete of the Counselor destroyed such implicitly Cronenberg and McDonald linked characters as Reiner and Westray-played by Javier Bardem and Pitt, respectively-over the course of the film. Indeed, Westray’s murder at the end of the film near a bank in London that evoked the headquarters of TIFF in Toronto affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Toronto film art and film artists.
Curiously, the same year as the doom and gloom of THE COUNSELOR, Zack Snyder implied that he understood the allegorical intent of BODY OF LIES and ROBIN HOOD, for he implicitly linked Jor-El-played by Crowe-to Sir Scott and had his digital ghost help his implicitly Reitman linked son, Clark/Kal-El ‘Superman’ Kent-played by Henry Cavill-save Earth and indie film art in his more uplifting, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film, MAN OF STEEL (2013), an implicit interest in Sir Scott affirmed by the film’s allusions to ALIEN, BODY OF LIES, bLACK HAWK DOWN, LEGEND, PROMETHEUS and UP IN THE AIR. A film that perhaps did something to relieve the gloom of Sir Scott, for he implicitly lost interest in Wright and changed directions completely when he rejoined Farahani, Max, Weaver, Wolski, Yates and Golshifteh Farahani-who played Aisha, the sweetie of Ferris, in BODY OF LIES-for his next twilit, allegorical, CGI enhanced and DUNE evoking Scott Free docufeature artbuster, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014), dedicated to Tony Scott.
‘This has nothing to do with you and I.
This is far beyond that. This is about Egypt’s survival.’
For the sight of the Cameron resembling and implicitly linked Moses-played by Christian Bale-leading his fellow Jews out of Egypt and to the promised land to the impotent dismay of the implicitly Lucas linked Pharaoh Ramses the Great-played by Joel Edgerton-reminded us that it was Cameron who led CGI enhanced film art and admiring audiences into the new millennium with the twilit and allegorical Zonebuster, AVATAR (2009), and not Lucas and his STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy. The choice of Edgerton as Pharoah Ramses the Great affirmed the film’s implicit intent, for he played the impossibly young Owen Lars in the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy. His shaven head also evoked the shaven heads of the underworld denizens of THX 1138, reaffirming his implicit link to Lucas and the implicit intent of EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS.
For his part, Luc Besson implicitly came to my support and roasted Sir Scott in the form of Singaporean gang leader, Mr. Jang-played by Choi Min-Sik-in his twilit and allegorical film, LUCY (2014), an implicit roasting affirmed by all of the film’s allusions to BLACK RAIN, LIFE IN THE DAY and THE COUNSELOR. As for the northern Reb, Sir Scott implied that he was in another and more garish upbeat mood when he teamed up again with Max, Scalia, Wolski, Yates, Chiwetel Ejidfor-who played Huey Lucas in AMERICAN GANGSTER-and Benedict Wong-who played Ravel in PROMETHEUS-on his next twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced Scott Free docufeature artbuster, THE MARTIAN (2015), based on the allegorical Andy Weir novel, The Martian (2011).
‘I’m definitely going to die up here if I have to listen to anymore God-awful disco music.’
For the sight and sound of Matt Damon’s poor ol’ Mark Watney stuck on his own in his small HAB unit on Mars after being accidentally carried away like Dorothy and left behind on the red planet by the departing crew of the Hermes III Mars mission when a Kansas tornado evoking Martian storm slammed into the expedition from Earth at the fateful and TZ disaster evoking hour of 2:30 am one tumultuous Martian morning and communicating with the crew and with Earth via typewritten computer messages evoked the poor ol’ hermetic Gardevil stuck in his tiny bachelor apartment in Marsissauga sometimes wearing his Habs jersey and communicating with others via typewritten computer messages on his Zone Wars website throughout THE MARTIAN. Only without the disco music.
Indeed, the presence of Kate Mara’s Johanssen on the Hermes III affirmed the implicit Gardevil addressing intent of the film, reminding us that Scarlett Johansson had played the implicitly Gardevil linked Lucy in LUCY. The sight and sound of Jessica Chastain as the Polley evoking Hermes III Commander Melissa Lewis and Michael Pena as the Adam Beach evoking Hermes III pilot ‘Buck’ Martinez also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Canadian film art, film artists and scholars. Thus, rescuing Watney from imprisonment in the HAB and returning him to humanity on Earth implied the hope of Sir Scott that Wright would also one day be liberated from his confining apartment and his Zone War obsessions and returned to the presence of other people-if only so as to get him to stop writing and posting his annoying all word essays and Lucas book chapters on his website.
For his part, Whedon again implicitly and ironically linked Sir Scott to Barton-played again by Renner-when Hawkeye rejoined his fellow Avengers to take on and take out the implicitly Lynch linked Ultron-voiced by James Spader-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film, AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015). Anthony and Joe Russo also implicitly linked Sir Scott to Barton-played again by Renner-and had him battle on the side of implicitly American film artist linked superheroes led by the implicitly Clint Eastwood linked Steve ‘Captain America’ Rogers-played by Chris Evans-against super heroes implicitly linked to Canada led by the implicitly Reitman linked Stark-played again by Downey jr.-in their twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical film, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016). Then Sir Scott implied again that he was worried that the CGI enhanced blockbuster beast would kill film art for film art’s sake when he rejoined Fassbender, Scalia, Wolski, Yates and Guy Pearce-who played Peter Weyland, CEO of Weyland Corporation, the owners of Prometheus, in PROMETHEUS-to round off the Alien Trilogy with the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced Scott Free docufeature artbuster, ALIEN: COVENANT (2017).
‘We are all aliens.’
Significantly, the sight of the implicitly Cronenberg linked David-played again by Fassbender-piloting an Engineer ship back to their home world of Origae-6 and wiping out the population of their capital city-or did the city represent the six part Toronto mega city?-with blockbuster CGI disease reaffirmed that Sir Scott was still worried about CGI enhanced blockbuster film art despite confidently and optimistically embracing CGI enhancement in EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS and THE MARTIAN. With an astronaut named ‘Danny’ Daniels-played by Katherine Waterston-who resembled and was implicitly linked to Alice Munro, Sir Scott also continued to meditate on Canadian artists in the film. Curiously, however, his fear of the CGI enhanced blockbuster beast was implicitly softened when he rejoined Ford, Olmos, Young, Zimmer and BLADE RUNNER screenwriter Hampton Fancher as executive producer and implicitly addressed Lynch again in the twilit, allegorical, Ozian themed and CGI enhanced Villeneuve artbuster, BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017).
‘To be born is to have a soul, I guess.’
Indeed, the cigarette smoking and coffee drinking replicant Blade Runner Agent KD6-3.7-played by Ryan Gosling-who served his LAPD boss, Joshi-played by Robin Wright-like androids David and Walter-both played by Fassbender-served their human colleagues in PROMETHEUS and ALIEN: COVENANT, was implicitly linked to the cigarette smoking and coffee loving David Keith Lynch throughout the film. This implied that Agent K’s triumph over the callous cruelty and mendacity of the implicitly Cameron linked Nyander Wallace-played by Jared Leto-his Wallace Corporation and its new and improved Replicants, in the end, symbolized the triumph of the indie moving paintings of Lynch over the CGI enhanced blockbuster beast.
However, despite their implied support for moving paintings, Sir Scott and Villeneuve also held out hope that after decades of working out the bugs, the age of the CGI enhanced artbuster had finally arrived. For over the course of the film, Agent K discovered that Deckard and Tyrell had not only successfully escaped from Deckard’s apartment building at the end of BLADE RUNNER, they had also successfully conceived and given birth to a daughter two years after the events of the first film in 2021-implying that Deckard was human after all, despite his glowing replicant eyes in the various versions of BLADE RUNNER. Significantly, the child of Deckard and Tyrell grew up to be a replicant memory specialist named Doctor Ana Stelline-played by Carla Juri-who, as a fusion of human and hi-tech, was a living symbol of the new era of the CGI enhanced artbuster. Indeed, the fact that the serial number of Rachael Tyrell was revealed to be N7FAA52318 affirmed Dr. Stelline’s symbolic status. For the 723 hidden in her mother’s serial number reminded us that the TZ disaster had inspired the development of CGI in the hopes that its use would prevent future film set disasters by allowing film artists to create dangerous effects sequences digitally, thus creating a new era of disaster free CGI enhanced film art.
Unfortunately, while BLADE RUNNER 2049 was not as incomprehensible as BLADE RUNNER, it was still nonetheless another Great Flawed Film like the various versions of BLADE RUNNER. A fate that Sir Scott avoided when he returned to Roma with Max, Wolski and Yates on his twilit, allegorical and Ozian themed Scott Free docufeature artbuster, ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD (2018), a film that was inspired by the John Pearson book, All The Money In The World (2017).
‘You want your money, I want Paul.’
Significantly, while evoking A GOOD YEAR, GLADIATOR and HANNIBAL, the film most strongly evoked the allegorical Spielberg film, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977), which the film alluded to on several occasions. For the desperate and determined quest of frantic single mother Abigail ‘Gail’ Harris to free her son, John Paul Getty III-played by Charlie Plummer-from Italian abductors evoked the equally desperate and determined quest of frantic single mother Gillian Guiler-played by Melinda Dillon-to free her son, Barry-played by Cary Guffey-from alien abductors in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. This implicitly linked Getty’s blockbuster loot loving grandfather, J. Paul Getty-played by Christopher Plummer-to Spielberg, implying that the film was roasting blockbuster loot loving Spielberg.
However, given that the eccentric, solitary, wealthy and world famous J. Paul Getty evoked the equally eccentric, solitary, wealthy and world famous Stan Lee, perhaps some sort of allegorical roast of Lee was occurring in ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. To support this implication, it was noticeable that prior to her divorce, Harris was known as Gail Getty, a name that evoked Lee’s famous love of alliterative names for his comic characters, like Peter Parker and Susan Storm. Then again, given that the dimunitive and determined Gail looked, talked and acted like my own dimunitive and determined mother Gail, perhaps the film was another implicit message to me from Sir Scott as in THE COUNSELOR and THE MARTIAN that urged me to leave behind my vicious and vindictive vendetta with the twilit life and film art of Spielberg and get out of the dread allegorical Zone Wars and back to my loving momma’s arms…before it was too late! The presence of Williams certainly linked the film to Toronto and its film art, film artists and film ‘scholars’, as she played Margot in the Toronto set Polley film, TAKE THIS WALTZ (2011).
At any rate, the film was definitely another implicit admonishment from Sir Scott to stick to true indie film artbusters and avoid blockbuster lusts, given that Getty was so obsessed with money that he did not notice that some, and perhaps all, of the art that he purchased from more shrewd and knowing operators over the course of the film were fakes. Getty was also so impotent despite all of his wealth and power that it was actually Gail and ex-CIA Agent Fletcher Chace-who evoked departing TIFF CEO Piers Handling, and was played by Mark Wahlberg-who rescued Paul, in the end. As to why the Roma communist leader-played by Lorenzo Pedrotti-that Chace consulted for insight into the kidnapping looked, acted and smoked like Eddie Vedder…only the Shadow knows.
And so ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD was another fine indie docufeature artbuster from Sir Scott and company. Thus, with only two great flawed films in a long and distinguished career, Sir Scott was correct to listen to his intuition as a youth and break free to walk that lonely and solitary path of instinctive film art and make great indie film art for artbuster’s sake. For most film artists would be pleased to have made just one film of the calibre of THE DUELLISTS or ALIEN or THELMA AND LOUISE or WHITE SQUALL or GLADIATOR or KINGDOM OF HEAVEN or A GOOD LIFE or PROMETHEUS or EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS or THE MARTIAN, let alone all of them. Indeed, it was the very high quality of and his unswerving commitment to indie film art that linked his otherwise noticeably and sometimes jarringly different films together. A truly fantastic filmography of excellent, inspirational and memorable Scott Free indie artbusters that ensured that indeed was Sir Scott the Northern Rebel.
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