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Ridley Scott: from Alien to Exodus, a Cecil B DeMille for the digital age

by Andrew Pulver.

Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver on the set of Exodus: Gods and Kings

He has never won an Oscar, but is routinely described as one of the greatest film directors working today – and his credits attest to his monumental contribution to cinema over five decades. Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, Gladiator and Prometheus are just the highlights of Ridley Scott’s directorial career, which stretches back 37 years to The Duellists, released in 1977, and which is about to enter a new chapter with the biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Remarkably, Scott has managed to stay relevant, producing at least one major, influential film a decade, and responding to periodic downturns with commercial hits that have kept his hat permanently in the ring. Now 76, Scott can be bracketed in the same league as Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg as a veteran director in as complete control of his powers as he ever was.

How has he done it? For Leslie Felperin, film critic at the Hollywood Reporter, “the thing about directors with longevity is that they never sit still; they keep diversifying, trying different things”. That’s true of Scott, who has turned his hand to horror, sci-fi, war films and road movies with equal proficiency. “As a director, it’s hard to get a read on him,” Felperin says. “In one way, he seems like a very capable journeyman: he clearly has always had a perfectionist streak, but it’s hard to say the dramatic material he picks is particularly distinctive, compared to Scorsese, Spielberg, or even James Cameron. His ability has always been to deliver what’s best for the material.”

Read the rest of this article from The Guardian.

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