Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella has died. He was only 54. I didn't know him, but his death feels far more personal to me than the deaths of well-known people usually do.

Minghella's direction of the film, The English Patient, based on his adaptation of Michael Ondaatje's wonderful novel, I have come to see as having been largely responsible for my decision to try my hand at screenwriting, which in turn led to the most satisfying (and most frustrating) decade of my working life. More on that another time.

From the New York Times obituary:
In a 1996 interview with The Associated Press, Minghella said too many modern films let the audience be passive, as if they were saying, "We're going to rock you and thrill you. We'll do everything for you."

"('The English Patient') goes absolutely against that grain," he said. "It says, `I'm sorry, but you're going to have to make some connections. There are some puzzles here. The story will constantly rethread itself and it will be elliptical, but there are enormous rewards in that.'"
There certainly were.

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