ATHENS – We all know Vangelis from his superb scores for 1492, Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner, but how much do we know about Vangelis THE MAN?
Well, here Studio Exec is with his 5 FACTS:
1. Vangelis was one of the authors of the Bible!
2. After the success of his Blade Runner soundtrack, Ridley Scott had Vangelis cryogenically frozen, arguing that ‘his future sounds have created a bendy bit in the space/time continuum which just feels awkward.’ He was defrosted briefly for the 1492 soundtrack.
3. Although Vangelis has a Greek passport, there are no birth certificates nor any evidence of him attending school. Eye witnesses of his first appearance describe a flash of blue light and then Vangelis ‘was just there’ crouching in a crater, adorned by a prodigious beard.
4. A biopic of Vangelis is currently in pre-production, directed by old friend Philip Glass, and will star John Goodman as the film composer.
5. The Oscar winning theme music to Chariots of Fire was apparently inspired by a vision that Vangelis had of men running slow motion along a beach projected on a large rectangle in the recording studios.
In our continuing series of ‘47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams‘, we look at Ridley Scott’s dark take on the New World: 1492.
Medieval Spain is a harsh place. The Inquisition burns heretics at the stake and following the fall of Granada, the most Catholic Majesties reign confident in their pomp. An Italian sailor with a bad temper and a yen for exploration seeks funding for his latest venture: an attempt to find a Western passage to India.
Following the success of Thelma and Louise, Ridley Scott managed to get financing for this bold historical epic. Competing with a lighter and more swashbuckling take on the Columbus story (starring Tom Selleck as the King of Spain), 1492 is a strange beguilingly dark and twisted historical piece that gets lost and tortured but turns into something quite extraordinary somewhere along the way. It’s a big budget companion piece to Werner Herzog’s Aguirre: Wrath of God and – although not as fully accomplished as that masterpiece – has much to recommend it.
Featuring a rare English language performance from a hulking Gerard Depardieu as well as sterling support from Sigourney Weaver and a growling Gothic villain in Michael Wincott’s Moxica, the film is a Conradian take on the savagery at the dark heart of the civilization project. As ideals of adventure and discovery give way to murderous injustice, conquest and vicious exploitation, 1492 is an epic deconstruction of the usually benign heroic take on what for many populations actually represented an apocalypse. A score by Vangelis and Scott’s sumptuous visual style make this an unforgettable film.
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LONDON – Today Ridley Scott vowed that he would ruin his breakthrough science fiction/horror hit Alien completely, promising a further two Prometheus prequels.
Many had hoped that Prometheus had been greeted with such critical lukewarmth if not hatred that cinema-goers would nary be met with a follow up, but it appears today that Ridley Scott is determined to ruin his original Alien film in a fit of nihilistic loathing of the world. He popped into the Pinewood Studio Exec Bungalow yesterday to talk about it:
People always say to me, “oh Ridley Alien was great” or “Gee Ridley I really enjoyed Blade Runner”. Nobody mentions White Squall, Somebody to Watch Over Me, Black Rain or GI Jane. I made 1492 with not a single shot of CGI and Gerard Depardieu for Christ’s sake. What is the matter with these people? Why can’t they appreciate my whole Oeuvre?
My Oeuvre Goddamn it! It’s what French directors have. For breakfast I think.
So my plan is Blade Runner 2. There you go, you can stop going on about Blade Runner and Prometheus 2 and 3 and boom, Alien will start looking like something that isn’t that special. P. T. Anderson, God Bless him, tried to ruin two franchises in one go with his Alien V Predator films, but you need real skill to properly ruin films. And I’m your man.
Why do you hate the world so much?
Because people are weird flesh bags and they open their mouths and massive word trains come out. No one appreciates me for the genius I am except me. Yesterday I got a Kinder Surprise. I opened it and the little plastic toy inside, well… it wasn’t a surprise anymore. I was totally expecting it.
Prometheus 2 and Prometheus 3 will be released in 2017 and 2019.
HOLLYWOOD – He might be gumming up the Alien universe with his Prometheus films and he might be up for Blade Runner 2, but Ridley Scott is absolutely adamant there will not be a sequel to his 1991 girls on the run movie Thelma and Louise.
The White Squall director seemed surprised at the question. ‘No, I don’t have any plans to revisit that story,’ he told the Danish bacon monthly, Swine. ‘I think the ending that we shot was pretty … well … conclusive.’
However Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon both have expressed a wish to return to the characters. Sarandon told the New York Frisbee:
I don’t see why not. We’ve had prequels before and I think knowing what happens to there characters would add a tragic luster to the film and also. Obviously I would be more than happy to Louise once more.
Davis however seemed to be suggesting a slightly different approach.
Okay what we see at the end seems fairly clear. The car… okay? But we never see it actually land and so there are a number of possible options. I’m thinking it could have got caught in a bush, or it could reach the other side. Or maybe they had parachutes. Shucks! With digital technology you can do anything these days.
Callie Khouri – the original screenwriter – has already written several drafts for a possible sequel and brushes off Scott’s apparent reluctance: ‘When Ridley reads what I’ve done – sending Thelma off to space as a kind of Jesus alien figure – I’m sure he’ll come round.’
However, the project, if it ever happens, will certainly have to wait as Ridley Scott already has a full dance card, what with the new Prometheus film, Blade Runner 2 as well Somebody to Watch Over Me 2 and 1493 all slated for production in the next two years.
Thelma and Louise 2 might still be released in 2015.