Ridley Scott

Sog., Scen.: Callie Khouri. F.: Adrian Biddle. M.: Thom Noble. Scgf.: Norris Spencer. Mus.: Hans Zimmer. Int.: Susan Sarandon (Louise), Geena Davis (Thelma), Harvey Keitel (Hal), Michael Madsen (Jimmy), Christopher McDonald (Darryl), Stephen Tobolowsky (Max), Brad Pitt (J.D.). Prod.: Ridley Scott, Mimi Polk per Pathé Entertainment. DCP. Col. 

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

For some while now, the angels of the hearth, who traditionally had to grow old and silently endure their crises within the domestic sphere, have started to invade those spaces of the lawless great outdoors traditionally reserved for men: the street, the journey, the directionless flight. In short, Penelope has woken up and followed Ulysses on his quest, taking her restlessness outside the home. Just like Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, Barry Newman in Vanishing Point, Mark Frechette in Zabriskie Point, or the two fugitives in Sugarland Express, so it is for Thelma and Louise, the foolish girl and the intelligent woman, the timid housewife and the waitress who has reached breaking point. They, too, take to the road in a brief escape from the daily grind – a weekend fishing trip together – and end up on the run across the deserts of Arkansas and the surrounding area following a rape and two bullets in the stomach of the rapist. Ridley Scott… directs a film-manifesto which is a triumph of spectacle but also encapsulates a widespread and very current sense of anxiety. Written by a woman, Callie Khouri, who knows how to describe the friendship and sense of complicity between two solitary women as well as how to capture the dynamics of provocation and rebellion, Thelma & Louise is narrated with a fast-paced, insistent, frenetic rhythm. It is a sort of remake, replicating all those great escapes through the desert that fill our cinematic dreams and turning them into a gigantic, dazzling promo about curiosity, malaise, cruelty and the violence hidden behind the slightest female transgression. Scott pummels us with the soundtrack and constantly winks at the audience (the cyclist who ends up in the middle  of the desert could have escaped from a film by Lynch). Nevertheless, despite the bombardment of extravagant images, which could be considered virtuoso if they were not underpinned by such an agonizing central conceit, the film remains extremely personal… Underneath its breathless pace and spectacle and its carnivalesque explosion in the desert, Thelma & Louise remains a manifesto for female emancipation with an anarchic heart; better three days as a lioness and a leap into the void than sixty years as a sheep in the service of one’s husband or a bunch of male clients.

Irene Bignardi

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Restored in 4K by courtesy of The Criterion Collection in collaboration with MGM Studios and Park Circus, from the original negative. Restoration supervised by the director Ridley Scott