Now here’s one for any budding film student out there. We all know director Tony Scott for his big-budget Hollywood films, Top Gun and Enemy of the State (though his 1980’s horror The Hunger remains my favourite), well here’s a chance to catch one he made earlier.
Loving Memory is Scott’s experimental debut as a director, made in 1969 when he was just 26-years-old. Told through monologue, the film stars veteran actress Rosamund Greenwood as an elderly woman who lives with her mentally challenged brother in a rundown cottage beside an abandoned mine. After running down a cyclist, Greenwood’s character takes the dying man into her home where she recounts the tragic story of the death of her beloved son.
Running just under an hour, Loving Memory is very bleak, but it’s beautifully shot in stark black and white, which gives the rural Yorkshire setting a truly haunting air.
Included in the new BFI dual format release is another short by Scott, Boy and Bicycle (1965) a truly extraordinary piece of nostalgia that makes great use of its Hartlepool locations, much changed today; as well as One of the Missing (1968), a ‘film school-looking’ short about the final moments in the life of a Confederate soldier, directed by future Alien director, Ridley.
All in all, this release is what the BFI really stands for – unearthing buried treasures from its archives for everyone to enjoy, appreciate and reappraise.