Cormac McCarthy, one of the most prominent American literary figures, once wrote a script called The Counselor. Outwardly, the criminal plot, as is customary with famous writers, turned out to be much deeper than it seems. And in the film, which was released according to this scenario, there is an episode of "telephone philosophy" when the most negative character named Jefe ("agent of fatum", as the publicist Ortega calls him) reads the verses of the Spanish poet Antonio Machado: Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar "-" Wanderer, there is no road. The road is born when you walk. " And he explains to the Advisor that there is no momentary choice because the choice was made a long time ago. This means that the wife of the Counselor will be killed anyway. Everyone's choice was made a long time ago.

The peculiarity of this film, which surprisingly turned out to be the "table-top film" of many of my 40-year-old friends, is that the director stopped production somewhere in the middle. Because his brother Tony committed suicide, and he was no longer up to the movie. Thus, of the three Scott brothers, only he survived - director Ridley Scott. And he remained the eldest in a large family. Therefore, in many ways "The Counselor" is a film where, in addition to McCarthy, the director also fights with his demons. One of the most successful filmmakers in the world of cinema. It was 2013.

I realize this is weird, but I only recently saw Ridley Scott's very first 1977 film The Duellists. Well, I just never liked the descriptions of this picture, which, of course, speaks only of the potency of those who write these descriptions. And the theme is some French hussars, some duels ... Who needs it at all? But Harvey Keitel, Albert Finney and Keith Carradine are so good that the costume drama grows out of the hussar culottes. But who is this - Ridley Scott, to whom Harvey Keitel comes to the debut picture? (Do not offer Tarantino.)

A boy from a military family, a passionate fan of science fiction literature (really, who would have thought, watching "Alien" and "Blade Runner"). In particular - HG Wells. And this is good news, because Wells is still a great writer, for whom a fantastic idea is not a reason to lower the level of classical English literature. I watched a fantastic movie like It! The Terror from Beyond Space in 1958. In fact, the film that inspired Dan O'Bannon to write the screenplay for Star Beast, which later became Alien, was directed by Ridley Scott himself in 1979. And when Ridley saw Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, he realized that he could only be in the film industry.

He went to the Royal College of Art, so it's no surprise that he started working for the BBC as a designer, starting with the Tonight program. And it is not at all surprising that he is associated with the creation of the image of the villainous aliens of the Daleks from "Doctor Who". An image that has hardly changed over the decades of production of this amazing series. When he graduated from college, he began to work even harder on television as an artist. And then he and his brother Tony organized the company Ridley Scott Associates, which was engaged in the production of advertising. He attracted people like Alan Parker and others, those who, over time, will form a new wave of British cinema, and mainly in Hollywood. He filmed everything from advertising for the classic bread company Hovis to Chanel.He shot Chanel for ten years in a row. And these were small masterpieces.

And he made the debut of "The Duelists" in 1977 based on the story of the writer from Berdichev Kozhenevsky, whom we now know as the inspirer of "Apocalypse" by Coppola Joseph Konrad.

The story of officers Hubert and Feraud, who are trying to kill each other in a duel throughout the era of the Napoleonic wars, somehow entered.

And suddenly the film was nominated for the main award at the Cannes Film Festival.

He had already decided to continue his career with "Tristan and Isolde", but was distracted.

The historical costume drama will remain in Ridley Scott's work forever, but that's not why we love him.

Because the creation of the Swiss artist Hans Rudi Giger will also remain with him for many, many years. As soon as he watched Star Wars, he remembered his love for science fiction. And I decided to shoot something big and fantastic. The story of the meeting of the space tug "Nostromo" with the mega-unpleasant "Alien" is nothing more than a fantastic action film. And no one imagined what this story would result in in subsequent films on the topic.

But the start was glorious. Ridley Scott took from the creators of the most important thing - images - the amazing designer Ron Cobb, a native of the underground press, who, unfortunately, died last year, but created the most famous starships and cars in the world of science fiction cinema. And most importantly, he took not just a designer or a film artist, but a real surrealist - completely crazy Giger. Together they developed images of such depth and ramification that Alien tore millions of rooftops around the world and became the basis for endless franchises and imitations.

Twenty years after the film's release, I spoke to Hans Rudy Giger and we discussed why Alien is so scary. “Because I am addressing the primal fears of man - when insects and reptiles were gigantic,” Giger replied. But we mean: the image of a xenomorph for the film is based on the already existing work of Giger "Necron IV" in 1976, when no one thought about any "Alien". And it was this picture that Ridley Scott saw - and understood everything. Indeed, a semi-insect-semi-reptile on two legs with a crocodile tail, unkillable, with poisonous blood, with retractable jaws - what could be worse? Maybe the clown after midnight by Stephen King.

And Ridley also made a seemingly banal feint - he made the main character a heroine.

Cool beauty Sigourney Weaver added wild sex appeal.

And now the beauty and the beast conquered the planet.

I mean, our planet.

And you need to understand: everything that was filmed was made in an era when there were no CG and other digital tricks.

Everything is created with these pens - the masters of their craft.

Well, Hans Rudi, as far as I remember, also did not get out of the set.

The studio wanted to give only $ 4 million for the film.

But Ridley Scott, as a professional artist, sitting in London, painted the entire storyboard himself - with costumes, a ship, etc. And for some reason these pictures convinced 20th Century Fox to give another $ 6 million. Here it is - the power of art.

The universality of the perception of "Alien" was still based on the fact that, in principle, all the motives had already been worked out separately by different authors.

As screenwriter O'Bannon answered the question if he was influenced by some author: "Yes, I stole everything from everyone!"

And I wonder why I always dreamed of Clifford Simak with his asteroid, where there was a cave full of alien eggs ...

"Aliens" in 1986 already directed by James Cameron.

With all this, we must understand why such projects as "Alien" (budget of $ 11 million, collection of $ 106) were carried out in America.

Because neither Ridley Scott nor other British directors of his generation in Britain had anything to do.

There was no such thing as British cinema.

There were already heaps of talent, but there was practically no industry.

And now Ridley Scott, among the British squad in Hollywood, reformatted the genre of fiction on the American screen.

You'd be surprised, but after Alien, Ridley Scott spent a year preparing for the filming of Dune, which you suddenly fell in love hysterically here.

It all fell off because his brother Frank died.

A change of mood led him to the work of Philip Kindred Dick.

There is still a lot to say about this author, now we have a huge layer of texts in our hands, most of which are rather badly translated.

But this American madman created his own amazing worlds, and only a hypersonic missile can keep up with the flight of his thoughts.

Caustic, grotesque, not recognizing any barriers.

Scott took the story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

- a classic dystopia that Dick wrote after reading the main author and leader of the Church of Scientology Ron Hubbard (short story "Fear").

From the story of the hunt for runaway androids such as "Nexus-6" Ridley Scott has created an inexpressibly stylish picture, which once again turned the world view of science fiction cinema.

And now there is practically no science fiction film that somehow does not quote Scott's findings.

To the gallery page

Music by Vangelis Papatanasiou - keyboardist of the Greek rock band "Child of Aphrodite" (Demis Roussos was there on the bass, by the way, his voice also sounds in the frame), the transparent eyes of the Dutchman Rutger Hauer ("we will be lost in time, like tears in the rain"), smooth Sean Young, android Daryl Hannah and, of course, Harrison Ford in one of his best roles. It couldn't fail to work. But it didn't work. The fact that the film practically failed at the box office proves once again that the audience is a fool, and the bayonet is great. But where's who, and Blade Runner is now one of the coolest films in the history of cinema. And one of the most influential.

And Ridley Scott too. His "advertising" manner - an atmospheric picture, the use of at least three cameras - immediately brought a fresh breath to the world of Hollywood cinema. Well, unlike other directors, he is amazingly able to hear the actor, even if he expresses his thoughts about improvements and changes during filming. This is noted by everyone who worked with him.

He was also always interested in cutting-edge ideas - for example, ethical problems associated with the development of artificial intelligence and the construction of more and more ideal androids, and for him the Turing test is not an empty phrase.

He's also always followed the development of technology today, and it's no wonder he was the one who directed the Apple Mackintosh ad in 1984.

And with this video, he earned the fame of a person who made a qualitative leap in advertising and generally created a natural masterpiece from the list of 50 most outstanding advertising videos.

He used hints of Orwell's 1984 and promised that now, thanks to Apple Mac, 1984 will not be 1984.

The funny thing is that the cult of the name of Jobs did the opposite.

What a wicked irony.

The next picture - "The Legend" (1985) with Tom Cruise, the unicorn and the goblins - failed at the box office, but remained cult.

This is his tribute to Tristan and Isolde, which he never took off.

And that was just the time when it was already impossible to return to "Dune" - David Lynch began to shoot it.

So how it happened, it happened.

And it's also funny that the soundtrack was changed for the American market - instead of Jerry Goldsmith, the German synthesizer group Tangerine Dream sounds here.

My personal guilty pleasure Someone to Watch Over Me (1987) also failed.

But Sting sounds so cool there with his version of Gershwin's Someone to Watch Over Me, and Berenger is such a manly handsome.

The press called the film a "stupid thriller."

But Black Rain (1989) grossed a huge box office of $ 134 million. Wild nonsense with Michael Douglas about the yakuza and other blah blah blah.

The film is nominated for an Oscar for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing.

Thelma & Louise (1991), a seemingly unpretentious road movie, shook up the swamp a bit.

He was called pure misogyny, because then the feminists of a healthy person were still alive, and the total hatred of white men was considered a little superfluous.

But the neo-feminist duo Susan Sarandon and Gina Davis presented a great story with a completely iconic ending, which has been played by everyone since then - from cartoons to comedies to computer games.

"1492: Conquest of Paradise" / 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992).

This is a kind of "Danish" painting, that is, timed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the official opening of the New World by Columbus.

Then it never occurred to anyone to destroy the monuments to Columbus, and mankind still remembered the great traveler with gratitude.

And the impact of the discovery on the peoples of America was seen as unequivocally positive.

Columbus is played by Depardieu.

Well, at the same time they listened to Vangelis.

"White Squall" / White Squall (1996) - on real events, travel training "Albatross", when the students were killed and the captain tried to sue.

Starring Jeff Bridges.

Sting adds some extra dimension with the song Valparaiso.

I talked to Jeff Bridges about the release of the film, but they talked mostly about the sea, not about the film.

The painting has collected three times less than it was spent on.

The next tape - "Soldier Jane" / GI Jane (1997) with Demi Moore in the title role - had a distinct feminist context and collected less than it was spent on.

But Moore is very good here professionally.

And "Gladiator" / Gladiator (2000) showed that it is Ridley Scott himself who is good.

He finally made a historical costume drama that everyone loved.

It was also a great commercial success - $ 460 million.

Only "Oscars" as many as five pieces. When he came out, local sofa experts on Ancient Rome condemned for a long time "glaring inaccuracies", etc. But the truth is that Gaius Suetonius Tranquill mentions a certain general, nicknamed the Spaniard, battles. And Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance squeezes the last tear out of any hardened fighter.

Feeling good at the box office and "Hannibal" / Hannibal (2001) - the sequel to "The Silence of the Lambs." It is filmed visually much more thoroughly than the film by Jonathan Demme, released ten years earlier. Demme himself refused to do a sequel, because the script seemed to him overloaded with all sorts of horrors. Scott, too, at first refused, because he decided that his name was to shoot a film about the Carthaginian military leader Hannibal, and not about the cannibal, and he had already gorged on ancient Rome.

The film Black Hawk Down was released the same year. Created from the book by journalist Bowden, who detailed the disastrous mission of the Americans in Somalia in 1993. Someone decided to take offense at how the Somalis are presented in the film ("wild animals who only know how to shoot at each other"), and all sorts of inaccuracies, but despite this, the picture raised enough money to be considered successful - $ 173 million. Since then, life has offered many stories about how Americans behave in other countries, so I personally have only the title theme from the film - sung by Lisa Gerrard together with Breton folk hero Denez Prigent Gortoz a Ran (“I I am waiting"). Prigent sings in Celtic, and Gerrard, as always, in a fictional language, but sounds fantastic. Well, in general, "only the dead saw the end of the war."

In the shadow of all this was the film "The Magnificent Scam" / Matchstick Men (2003) with Nicolas Cage. This is the first comedy in the filmography of Ridley Scott. Black comedy based on the story of Eric Garcia. But to someone from the Boston Globe, she seemed not black enough and generally very sentimental. At the box office, the picture has collected as much as spent.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005), another costume drama, is fully integrated into the historical theme of Ridley Scott. This picture is about the era of the Crusades. The casting was wonderful, and the rest was that modern historians were not at all satisfied with Ridley Scott's assumption that Muslims and Christians got along quite peacefully in those days. "In times of sectarian tension, such nonsense will only reinforce existing myths," arguing that the film draws on the romanticized view of the Crusades promoted by Sir Walter Scott in his book Talisman, published in 1825 and now discredited by scholars, "which depicts Muslims sophisticated and civilized, and the crusaders - rude and barbarians. It has nothing to do with reality, ”wrote one such scientist. Well, in general,Ridley Scott was to blame for Bin Laden.

As if taking a break from all this politicized rush, Ridley is shooting A Good Year (2006) based on the story of Briton Peter Mayle.

A film that seems to have been made just to boost world wine sales.

Russell Crowe is soft and cute here.

"American Gangster" / American Gangster (2007) - biography of the Chicago real heroin dealer Frank Lucas.

The story is from the 1960s, so it can also be considered a costume drama.

Scott coped with the style - visually it is a flawless picture.

And Denzel Washington in the title role.

Body of Lies (2008) demonstrates that the director is very careful about what is happening in the Middle East.

Formally, this is a spy drama based on the novel by David Ignatius.

In fact - a story about an honest man who works in a dishonest organization.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of the tsereushnik.

The soundtrack suddenly features Guns'n'Roses.

The director outlined a little more pop history in his version of Robin Hood (2010) with Russell Crowe as a shooter in the army of Richard the Lionheart.

A slightly unconventional presentation of the legend of Robin Hood, which the newspapers called "Saving Private Robin."

But the $ 321 million gross was pretty compelling.

And then, finally, after five parts of the Alien franchise, Ridley Scott returns with a picture that could be a prequel to the 1979 film, but is considered a separate work.

In "Prometheus" / Prometeus (2012), religious motives are clearly wedged into the story, and the story associated with xenomorphs looks already quite adult, outside the framework of horror fiction.

The same can be said about the painting "Alien: Covenant" / Alien: Covenant (2017).

Intellectuals were all already glad that the legacy of the classical artist Arnold Böcklin ("Isle of the Dead") was introduced into the legacy of Giger, and the producers were unhappy with the poor collection.

Because of this, another prequel is not yet considered - Alien: Awakening.

After "Prometheus" Scott directed "Counselor" / Counselor (2013), a picture of a difficult and difficult fate.

It was during the filming of this film that Ridley lost another brother - Tony, with whom he was very closely connected both personally and creatively.

He dedicated the "advisor" to Tony.

And the next film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" / Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), the story of the prophet Moses, is also dedicated to the brother.

Scott, of course, has a phenomenal capacity for work and an iron character.

In general, the person is not young at all.

This year he is 83. However, he made three more films, including the story of the kidnapping of Paul Getty's grandson (All the money in the World).

And at the Venice Film Festival just shown his new film "The Last Duel" / The Last Duel based on the novel by Eric Yager.

Well, Ridley started his career with duelists alone.

Will it end on the same note?

It doesn't look like he's already filming something about the Gucci family.

Restless old man.

The point of view of the author may not coincide with the position of the editorial board.