Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon

Florian Deroo, 2024

Scott’s late-career method is to mix different modes: the epic and the banal, the serious and the ridiculous, the lyrically beautiful and the brutally violent. In Napoleon, the past is strange not because of its odd customs, but because we – from the detachment of our contemporary vantage point – can see all these different modes at work, simultaneously. The result is often comical, but also harrowing: history as some kind of terrible joke.