Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obituary: The Talented Mr. Minghella

In the late summer of 1999 I received a telephone call from Mr. Joseph Flattery, the Banqueting Manager of Claridges Hotel on Brook Street in London. He invited me to provide administrative support for an upcoming celebration for several important guests in the field of cinematography, who were holding a party to languish in the laurels of their most recent and successful production. Being then the errant culinarian in search of fresh fields of adventure I readily accepted, not quite knowing what to expect.

To my complete surprise I found myself catering delicacies to the cast, friends, esteemed colleagues and noble thespians of ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley.’ Of course, the great British director Anthony Minghella was present, resplendent in glory and a thoroughly amiable chap I found him to be. Present also was Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hurt, Cate Blanchett, Philip Baker Hall, Helena Bonham Carter, Kate Winslett and of course the delectable dame of London society, the delightful Madonna. That was a tremendous night, life often or sometimes throws us a chance glimpse into a starlit world, and thus I was there bedazzled with great wonder… happy to have been.

Then I recently learned that the Great Man, full of creative energy, distinguished reserve and of fine artistic craft passed away… shortly after a shoot in Botswana, Africa. Anthony Minghella was truly a fine director who captured the admiration and applause with such brilliant films as ‘Truly Madly Deeply’, ‘Mr Wonderful’, ‘The English Patient’, and ‘Cold Mountain.’ Anthony Minghella was born on the Isle of Wight in England 1954, and died in Charing Cross Hospital in London on the 18th March 2008. He is survived by his dear wife Carolyn Chao.

I thank Mr. Minghella for that one brief but memorable night for the glimpse into such immense talent, being allowed that time to walk amongst beautiful talented artists and receive some small part of inspiration. Thus I compose this elegy in his honour, that he might be remembered with fond recollections:

The magician’s illusion of life in captured dreams
Theatrical, on stage, delight in action, reeling frames.
A scythe swings in moment, matter, mind and time,
Caught in exposure, in flight, scene and light sublime.
This director cut short, swift edit, the shutter snap,
The end, the curtain, no sequel in an invisible trap.
We all then act out our passions, in script, line and verse,
Too true, a short season with no chance to rehearse.
The wake evokes man’s spirit; immortal words of sweet cheers,
Illumined shadows near and past reflected in sad tears.

All rights reserved: David John Drew Versificator Regis DBWF 2008

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