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32 Things We Learned From the ‘True Romance’ Commentary

By  · Published on August 23rd, 2012

The moviegoing world was saddened earlier this week when it was learned director Tony Scott had died. Despite the manner of his death, it’s no less sad when a filmmaker such as Scott, who continued making films well into his 60, had many more films to helm. We felt it was time to hear some filmmaking insight from the man himself, which leads us to True Romance.

The movie itself is a modern classic, an energetic tale of love, drugs, and a whole bunch of bullets courtesy of fledgling – at the time – screenwriter Quentin Tarantino. He also provides a commentary for the film, a rarity for the Pulp Fiction writer/director, but we’ll cover that another time. This is Tony Scott’s time, and here, without further ado, are all the things we learned listening to him speak about his film, True Romance.

True Romance (1993)

Commentators: Tony Scott (director)

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“True Romance, for me, was one of the fullest, most accomplished scripts that I’d ever read. It was so well crafted in terms of character, the dialogue. Quentin is a unique writer.”

“For me, a movie is about character, a story, and performance. Characters are those actors that you decide to put into these roles, and they’re the people that actually engage you and engage you in the story.”

“The movie is such a strange mixture. It’s a black comedy to me.”

“I’ve got a short attention span, and I love momentum. I love energy. Even if it’s just talking heads, I want to give those talking heads, no matter how good the actors are, I want to try and let the camera help support what they’re doing and what they’re saying with odd angles, with movement, with light, and that is part of what I’m known for or infamous or notorious for and often criticized for more than applauded for by the critics. I’m criticized for my frenetic energy which they feel sometimes takes away from the idea or performance, but that’s what I do and who I am.”

Final Thoughts

Any appreciation you might have for Tony Scott as a director might grow exponentially when you hear the man speak about one of his characters. He has such a passion for story and character, that it’s almost a shame he fell into style-over-substance with so many of his films. Nonetheless, hearing him speak about True Romance, possibly his best film, makes the film grow in estimation for the sheer love and compassion that went into making it.

Scott provides information aplenty with this commentary. He falls into play-by-play near the end of the film, but the commentary is filled with so much insight and talk of technique up to that point, there’s no way one can say you don’t learn anything from this track. True Romance is a great film, and hearing Tony Scott speak about it makes it that much better.

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