The iconic Tom Cruise film and the iconic American film of the 1980s.
But also the most emblematic and beloved example of Tony Scott's early American career: Top Gun is the perfect union of celluloid painting and advertising. This Tony Scott era features sexy-glossy images popping with artificial colors paired to superficial stories driven by glam chicness, hokey wisecracking, curtain-thin artiness and speedy action. Here, the image is king, an image that sells Tom Cruise and the Air Force just as it could be used to sell Coke, action figures or cigarettes. Yet this is not an empty style: Scott creates these stunning images as expressive vector points where professionals, isolated in the line of duty, meet and conquer dangerous situations. The challenges of flying gleaming, sky-streaking fighter jets in Top Gun is the beginning of a technophiliac/phobic pursuit Scott would continue until the end of his career. This is the cleanest and purest of Tony Scott's movies, and it stands alone in popular culture: when thinking about a certain kind of American movie, Top Gun is the image.
Director: Tony Scott. 110 min. 1986. 35mm.
Preceded by Peter Kubelka's commissioned and subsequently radically subverted television advertisement for beer, Schwechater (1958).
Part of the series The Great Scott. Co-presented by MUBI.com
Ticket Price: $12, Film Club Member: $8.
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