Are we witnessing the end of American mainstream cinema? Diving deep into this topic, Hugo invites filmmaker, film critic and video essay connoisseur Scout Tafoya. In collaboration with Tucker Johnson, Scout explores this very question with a compelling 10-part video-essay series through the lens of Ridley & Tony Scott as the forefathers of the American blockbuster. Why has Hollywood become so stale? Together, Hugo & Scout discuss the End of History, the end of American cinema as we know it, but what comes next?

Our Guest

Scout Tafoya is a film critic, video essayist, filmmaker, and author of Cinemaphagy: On The Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper, the first book-length critical study of the director of “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” Originally from from Doylestown, PA, he is the creator of’s The Unloved, the longest running video essay series on the web, about movies in need of a second look. His writing has appeared in the Village Voice, Film Comment, Nylon Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Film Stage among others. He is the director of over 25 feature films including “Eyam,” “House of Little Deaths,” and “Beata Virgo Viscera,” which debuted on His features and his extensive video essay work can be found at

Films mentioned

  • End of History (Scout Tafoya & Tucker Johnson, 2022)
  • Men (Alex Garland, 2022)
  • Deep Water (Adrian Lyne, 2022)
  • Detectives vs Sleuths (Ka-Fai Wai, 2022)
  • Nope (Jordan Peele, 2022)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinski, 2022)
  • This Much I Know to be True (Andrew Dominik, 2022)
  • Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)
  • Moon Fall (Roland Emmerich, 2022)
  • Kimi (Steven Soderbergh, 2022) 
  • Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Adventure (Richard Linklater, 2022)
  • Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022) 
  • Jackass Forever (Jeff Tremaine, 2022)
  • Restart the Earth (Zhenzhao Lin, 2021)
  • Emergency Declaration (Jae-rim Han, 2021)
  • Luck (Peggy Holmes, 2022)
  • Thor: Love & Thunder (Taika Waititi, 2022)
  • Free Guy (Shawn Levy, 2021) 
  • A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan, 1957)
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016)
  • Aliens (Ridley Scott, 1986)
  • White Squall (Ridley Scott, 1996)
  • The Last Duel (Ridley Scott, 2021)
  • Exodus: Gods & Kings (Ridley Scott, 2014)
  • Gladiator (Ridley Scott, 2000)
  • Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, 2005)
  • House of Gucci (Ridley Scott, 2021)
  • All the Money in the World (Ridley Scott, 2021)
  • The Counsellor (Ridley Scott, 2013) 
  • Ambulance (Michael Bay, 2022)
  • Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986)
  • Days of Thunder (Tony Scott, 1990)
  • Crimson Tide (Tony Scott, 1995)
  • The Last Boy Scout (Tony Scott, 1991)
  • True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993)
  • Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
  • Reservation Dogs TV series (Sterlin Harjo & Taika Waititi, 2021-)
  • What We Do in the Shadows TV series (Jemaine Clement, 2019-)
  • Man on Fire (Tony Scott, 2004)
  • Domino (Tony Scott, 2005)
  • Deja Vu (Tony Scott, 2006)
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction (Michael Bay, 2014)
  • Eternals (ChloĆ© Zhao, 2021)
  • The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003)
  • Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)
  • Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron, 2022)
  • True Lies (James Cameron, 1994)
  • Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (Tim Miller, 2019)
  • The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
  • Mission: Impossible (Brian de Palma, 1996)
  • Napoleon (Ridley Scott, yet to be released)

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