RIDLEY SCOTT – Film Director

(South Shields, England, 1937 – )

Ridley Scott, a television director who today is extremely famous, studied at the West Hartlepool College of Art where he distinguished himself in painting and graphic design. He attended the Film School and the Royal College of Art of London to become set designer and won a scholarship in design that allowed him to study in New York, where he worked for Bob Drew Associates also as a photographer. When he returned to London he was hired by BBC Television as a set designer. After a short time he began to work on popular TV series such as Z-Cars and The Informer. Three years later he left the BBC to direct advertising commercials and films together with Hugh Hudson (who became the acclaimed director of Chariots of Fire – 1981) and was so successful that he founded his own production studio. Between London and the States, in 10 years he produced a great number of commercials, many of which were award winning films. His most appreciated works were those he directed for Apple Computers, for W.R. Grace and Chanel Five. Ridley Scott’s debut in movies came in 1977 with a high quality film, a noteworthy debut, with The Duellists, which won the special prize of the jury at Cannes. Two years later Hollywood financed his first high budget science fiction attempt in London, Alien (1979) where a horrible killing monster is nested in a spacecraft, which became an international success and vaguely suggested the atmospheres of films by Lucas and Spielberg. Scott made it big three years later in Hollywood with Blade Runner which immediately became a cult movie and was set in a hallucinating Los Angeles of the future where the cop played by Harrison Ford fights against robots and androids in revolt. The futuristic setting in dark and hallucinating tones is extraordinary and uses special effects perfectly functional to the futurist high quality thriller. After other films which were not at the same level of quality, Scott returned to be successful with a feminist movie staged on-the-road and excellently made, the symbolic and very successful Thelma & Louise (1991) where two attractive armed girls on the run throughout the States shoot all the men who try to molest them. For Barilla France Ridley Scott made the spot The Museum in 1990, with which he reached excellent results in terms of cinematographic technique in narrating the atmospheres of a precious collection of shell pasta in the setting of an ancient palace in Venice. In 1992 for Barilla he directed Gérard Depardieu in Roman Terrace, where the actor demonstrates, without saying a word, (it is the heart to speak), that a good plate of pasta is able to express goodness, warmth and imagination. Ridley Scott demonstrated in a certain sense to be a one of a kind director, uniting the qualities of serious professionalism to talent and out of the schemes thinking of an advertiser.

Giuseppe Calzolari