Friday, June 24, 2011
It's been over two years since writer, director, producer, actor, and Commander of the British Empire, Anthony Minghella died. As far as the world of film goes, I feel a vacancy. A loss of potential greatness. An unfinished work. An unrealized vision. For me personally, his work was hit and miss, but seldom had it anything to do with Minghella's writing or directing. No one ever talks about him. Some forget he died and other forget who he was. It's sad. He could have only made The English Patient and I would have always remembered him. Many look back at that film as an overly romantic melodrama and even associate it as a big studio picture, but Minghella practically collected coinage on the street to get that movie made. It was very much independent considering the scope of the vision. I still watch the film and really, not only does it have lasting power it gets better. It's far from melodrama and if it's overly romantic then so is life itself. To me, The English Patient is a brutally and beautifully made film that will keep Minghella alive always in the world and history of cinema.
If you are lucky enough to find it, there was an old VHS Commentary Version of the film featuring Minghella. The current DVD release only features a commentary track from the great Walter Murch (also recommended). Both commentaries are excellent, but the Minghella is rare. So if you haven't heard it or can't find it (or possibly don't even give a shit, which is your loss) I would suggest checking out this excellent treasure below. A nearly two hour media masterclass with Minghella conducted several years before his death. He talks at length about his start, his work in theater, film, with actors, dealing with studios and going your own way. Watch while you can, before it become as The English Patient commentary or Minghella himself has. Forgotten.
Anthony Minghella Media Master Class