The first academic evaluation of the work of this major film director aims to study both his aesthetic achievement and the underlying themes and values he projects. Working within the boundaries of many diverse popular genres, Scott has infused his works with new energy through both a strong formal sense and a cohesive world view. In such films as Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, and the recent blockbuster Gladiator, Scott addresses the tensions between institutions and individuals, passion and reason, and social order and personal freedom--particularly for women, who in Scott's films often posses strong characters, moral rectitude, and physical prowess--making him the rare mainstream director who does not reserve such heroic qualities for men only.
Providing extensive discussion of each of Ridley Scott's films--from 1977's The Duellists through the recent blockbuster epic Gladiator--author Richard A. Schwartz considers the power that even a filmmaker working well within the boundaries of the Hollywood studio system has to define and promote social values. Scott's frequent choice of the genre film as his mechanism for this makes him a particularly fascinating figure in contemporary cinema.
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