I am very sad to hear news this morning about the passing of acclaimed, and well loved director Tony Scott. I recently wrote in my review of Prometheus about what a huge fan I am of the work of his brother Ridley Scott. But despite Ridley receiving more critical acclaim it is important to note that a Tony Scott film is as identifiable and unique as a Ridley Scott film. Tony Scott films had a style unique to him and he was undoubtedly an auteur of mainstream cinema. I can think of a number of high profile big budget directors who would not be making the types of movies in the style that they do, which could now with hindsight be described as the Tony Scott style, if important films like Top Gun (1986), Crimson Tide (1995), and True Romance(1993) had not existed.
Then I started thinking about legacy. Directors (and actors) are lucky in the sense that they can be counted in the small number of people, which might include law makers, authors and artist for example, who are able to leave something physical or tangible behind as a legacy to all those who follow after. I can think of many people who I know, including my own brother who I would be very upset to lose, that are huge fans of Tony Scott films. And it is some comfort to know that those films will give the same amount of enjoyment today and tomorrow as to as many people as they did yesterday.
In fact yesterday I happened to watch a film called Carve Her Name With Pride (Lewis Gilbert, 1958) which contained a poem written by Leo Marks about the importance or what we leave behind to the people we leave. It seems somewhat appropriate: