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Ridley Scott Still Hates SciFi

Here is an anti-scifi rant by Ridley Scott. Again. This time it’s a minor one, taken from a to BBC interview where he is talking about Blade Runner and scifi.

Why do you think it’s stood the test of time?

MTV started around 1980, and I used to watch it. I think in its early days it was more interesting – these little filmlets cooked up by the bands and the director that were four, five minutes of really great entertainment. I’d get a lot of ideas off them. But then I started to notice bits of Blade Runner in there.

I thought, ‘Where the hell did they get that? My god – someone’s copying me!’ It was a huge influence in a lot of rock videos: wet streets, smoke, funny people. There was an evolution occurring. That generation only really watched MTV, and that would be the generation we’re talking about now.

How do you feel about the future of science-fiction?

Everyone and their mother are making science-fiction movies, and for the most part they all really lack story. The tail is wagging the dog – the special effects, instead of being the means to an end, are the end in itself.

Where do all the writers go? Writing is the single hardest thing to do. Once you get your design on paper, everything else is pretty straightforward.

Yeah, Ridley Scott invented wet streets. Please…

Note to filmmakers: If your movie features wet streets, streets with a sheen that may suggest wetness, or any pavement whatsoever that is not 100% dry, please forward royalties to Sir Ridley Scott, c/o Fantasyland.

Oh, and Blade Runner is overrated.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

9 Comments on Ridley Scott Still Hates SciFi

  1. Chris Johnston // November 26, 2007 at 5:45 am //

    Gee, I thought Michael Mann invented wet streets! πŸ˜‰

  2. Of course, the second para that you’ve quoted but not commented is dead on.

  3. While I disagree with you about Blade Runner…the fact that Ridley Scott doesn’t understand science fiction is somewhat disheartening.

    He’s a very good director, with a blind spot. Many directors have egos, some larger than others. Its possible you need one in order to direct a movie of any given size.

  4. Speaking of which, does anyone here watch NUMB3RS? It would be a much better show if they take all the math crap out of it!!

    Do you think he thinks that he invented mathematics too?

  5. “Whats that John? I couldn’t hear you, I have “Wilson’s”

    in my ears and hot chicks on my arms.” :-@

  6. The answer to the first question listed is pretty silly. But the second question…I’m surprised you passed that by. As the other commentator (Jon) said: It is dead on with what is wrong with 99.99% of all filmed SF.

  7. Bob Hawkins // November 26, 2007 at 12:39 pm //

    I hate to be the one to inform Mr Scott, but music video directors will steal, er be inspired by, anything they can find. I once saw a video that used The Shadow from the 1930s (okay, the Baldwin movie never inspired anyone). And here it is:

    Danger Danger – Naughty Naughty

    I think we have to assume that essentially no hair band fans were also Lamont Cranston fans, so we must attribute this to desperation.

  8. Matte Lozenge // November 26, 2007 at 5:12 pm //

    The more accurate title would be “Ridley Scott Still Hates Bad SciFi.” As do we all. Slam on Ridley Scott all you want (and sure, he’s got a big ego) but the reality is he’s looking for good SF scripts as much as you or I. Earlier this summer you linked to this interview:

    Q: Since we know you’ll get this question downstairs from the fans: It’s been a long time since you’ve done a sci fi or fantasy film. Is there any opportunity that we’ll see you back in that genre any time soon?

    SCOTT: Sure, ask if anybody got a script [laughter]. The only reason I haven’t done it is because I haven’t got a script. … The idea of science fiction today — I think is almost, a bit of an exaggeration maybe, but I don’t think so — I think we’ve been there, seen it and done it so many times, that everything you see is no longer original.

    There’s very few originals. One of the great cop films would be The French Connection. One of the great science fictions would be 2001, a true threshold. One of the next ones would be Star Wars, George Lucas directed it. Steven Spielberg brought us a gentle look, an optimistic look, at outer space. I then did the opposite with Alien, and scared the shit out of [laughter] … and then The Exorcist.

    These are all one-offs, where, as soon as you talk about possession of the body, you can’t do that — I can’t do that. Willie Friedkin’s already done it. I couldn’t possibly even entertain it. Time and time again you get these films coming out with some of the same bloody copybook. And spang it: half the people go, what’s he talking about? Seriously. They think it’s original. It’s not. Those are kind of the originals.

    Q: They say they’re going to make a lot of remakes (lists a few)

    SCOTT: … It’s pointless, they’re such good films … Which is scary, because it means we’re not developing stuff very well.

    SCOTT: I love engaging with writers, because that’s one of the really fascinating parts. When you’re with a good writer, it’s like being with a good musician. The whole process becomes really interesting.

  9. You’re so right. Bladerunner is so over-rated. I didn’t even like it.

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