Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger, briefly

This was my favorite moment in Brokeback Mountain.

If you did not see it, you missed seeing Ledger give one of the great film performances of our time.

In light of recent experience with the very poor media handling of the death of someone I knew, I would like to suggest we all remember a few things.

First, the media always gets a portion of the story wrong. So we can follow the news, wondering what really happened but we'll only ever know a small section of the story and that's really just fine. It's none of our business. All we need to know is that this poor man has died at a very young age.

Second, we did not know him. His performances, his work - that is ours. That is what he shared with us. But we did not know him as a man. By all accounts he was a good person to know and well liked by people who worked with him and a tremendous loss to his family. But that has nothing to do with us.

What we have lost is his future body of work. It is a significant loss, in my opinion. He had both classic movie star charisma (as shown in his earlier work, a warmth and ability to rivet his audience that is truly rare) as well as tremendous acting ability and instincts which were better displayed in his later, more mature performances. Certainly his development as an actor over the years would have been something to behold.

But we did not know him. This is our loss in only a very small way, particularly considering what those who knew him are enduring right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment