Author Topic: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...  (Read 122386 times)

Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2008, 04:52:10 pm »
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article3238923.ece?&EMC-Bltn=X16XP4

Goodbye Heath Ledger, Rest In Peace

s the obituaries roll out, the film most often invoked as a measure of Heath Ledger's skills as an actor is Brokeback Mountain (2005). And certainly Ang Lee's movie about a couple of ill-starred gay ranch-hands brought him deserved worldwide acclaim and an Oscar nomination.

But when I think of how good he was, and how good he might have been, I think of a lesser-known work, Candy, which was released a year later. It was a small, independent film made by a relative unknown called Neil Armfield and starred Abbie Cornish and Ledger as a pair of besotted heroin addicts whose love affair proves as destructive and tragic as the drug on which they are hooked.

The resonance with the reports swirling around Ledger's final hours is all too melancholic and clear. The trajectory of the film is numbingly predictable, but the graphic chemistry is terrifically sensual. For Ledger it was a joy and a relief to be able to do this tough role in his native Australian accent, despite the fact that his paycheque could be counted in beans. Few of his far-flung fans appreciate how isolated prolific actors sometimes feel when they are forced to part from their native drawl.

Cornish was one of the very few actresses to work with Ledger on such a psychologically demanding project. “He isn't just another actor. He has always been a very specific and creative artist,” she told me. “As draining as this film was, it was easy walking into the make-up bus knowing I was going to spend the entire day with him. Working with Heath pushed me to new places.” Candy revealed a taste for the dark side that many of Ledger's professional admirers may not have credited him with before.

His sudden death is a profound shock, one of those rare aberrations in Hollywood in which a bright young actor's life (James Dean, River Phoenix) is stubbed out far too early. Rock stars have precarious lifestyles and exotic addictions, sure. It's in their DNA. But how does a tragedy such as this befall a supposedly healthy workaholic with a number of prolific films in the pipeline? Reports suggest he had suffered a substance abuse problem, but the manner of his death still seems utterly out of sync with what we know of Ledger's personality.

Hollywood has lost him at the moment he was, if not at the peak of his powers, then certainly way into the ascent. How the studios intend to market his last, as yet unreleased, screen performances will be a source of heated debate. One of the films at stake is the new multimillion-pound Batman instalment, The Dark Knight , in which Ledger plays the Joker opposite Christian Bale's caped crusader. Christopher Nolan's film is now finished and is due to dazzle the world in the summer. Yesterday Warner Brothers said the release date (July 25) was still in place; how they will market the movie (early reports say Ledger's Joker is definitive) is another matter.

Last week Ledger was in London working on Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. At the time of writing, representatives for Gilliam said they had no comment to make on the film's release, or Gilliam's feelings at the loss of Ledger.

He was last seen in Todd Haynes's extraordinary homage to Bob Dylan, I'm Not There. Ledger played one of the seven incarnations of Dylan: a butch motorcycling troubadour who has his hands full trying to keep Charlotte Gainsbourg happy.

How to give an inkling of the loss? His solid commitment to films and scripts that he believed in gave him kudos among his peers. He was also a humble heart-throb, managing to defy the poster-boy image that first dogged him.

The 28-year-old was born in Perth, Western Australia. He left school at 17, hitched to Sydney with barely a dollar in loose change in his pocket and got his first real break in a low-budget film called Blackrock (1997). A part in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) put him on the map. He won plaudits for a cameo in Monster's Ball (2001), and revealed an unexpected talent for comedy in A Knight's Tale (2001).

He could have played the beefcake, the heart-throb, over and over again: he was startlingly handsome with playful eyes and a broad-shouldered swagger. But he didn't.

Reviewing his CV you realise it is littered with curios, parts he obviously took on for love or just the challenge, perhaps most notably his turn as Jacob Grimm in Gilliam's wonderfully bizarre homage to The Brothers Grimm.

Gilliam, who turned out to be his last director, recognised instantly that he had a singular talent in his grasp. Unfortunately that precious talent has been extinguished far, far too early. The frustration is that he would have gone so much farther in roles we will now never see.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #51 on: January 26, 2008, 07:37:05 am »
This is an absolutely gorgeous article that I thought should be also posted here

thanks to doodler for finding it

Ijust found this article and thought some other people might enjoy it. It is almost 2 years old but has some wonderful observations pf Heath.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/tale-of-an-untrained-homeboy/2008/01/23/1201024944702.html

That was a gorgeous article - Thank you.  :-*
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2008, 10:16:25 am »
From the National Post, Canada:

The enduring masterpiece Ledger left behind


Jonathan Kay,  National Post  Published: Friday, January 25, 2008

"I tell ya there… there were these two old guys ranched up together, down home. Earl and Rich. And they was the joke of town, even though they were pretty tough ol' birds. Anyway they … they found Earl dead in an irrigation ditch."

-- Ennis del Mar,

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger's acting masterpiece, has been Youtubed, Family Guyed and Saturday Night Lived so many times, that it is sometimes difficult to recall what an astonishingly good film it was. Had Brokeback been the only film Ledger ever made, we would still properly be mourning the loss of one of the world's great actors.

Brokeback is too often pigeonholed as a gay love story. (Wikipedia describes it as "a romantic drama film that depicts the complex romantic and sexual relationship between two men in the American West from 1963 to 1983.") But the homosexuality in the movie was incidental to a larger theme: the random cruelty of the human condition, a condition that allows outside forces to destroy the lives of even the toughest men.

In the case of Ennis del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), the force that destroyed them was in their genes: They were gay men living in a homophobic world. When they were true to their love, they lived in a tiny snow globe of ecstasy. But everywhere else, they were lonely souls living a lie.

Some of the most exquisite vignettes from the movie come when those two worlds collide. Years after seeing the movie, I still remember the brief scene when Jack shows up for seasonal work at Brokeback --hoping to see Ennis again--and is turned away in humiliating fashion by the rancher, who knew their secret. ("You guys wasn't gettin' paid to leave the dogs babysittin' the sheep while you stem the rose.")

Outwardly, these men are the very embodiment of western ruggedness -- especially Ennis, whose bar-fight brutality escalates in accordance with the shame he feels about his sexuality. But inside, they are train wrecks. And Ang Lee deserved the Best Director awards he got for letting that wreckage play out without any sort of deus ex machina or romantic Hollywood gloss.

The wreckage in the film is not really about gay love, or even love itself. It is about powerlessness. Fiddle with the plot, and it would be easy for artists of equal calibre to make essentially the same film about men who are addicted to alcohol, or drugs, or gambling, or are suffering crippling illness,

or who fall hopelessly in love with the wrong woman. When Jack famously says to Ennis " I wish I knew how to quit you," the you could be anything.

This is why so many people who aren't gay, and care nothing for Western vistas and cowboy flicks, were so affected by Brokeback. None of us have control of our lives. The movie is about whatever uncontrollable force we stay up at night worrying about. As in every great film, we read ourselves into it.

In my particular case, Brokeback became a film about fatherhood. Both Ennis and Jack marry and have kids. Jack manages to cobble together an outwardly respectable middle-class family life, even as his marriage deteriorates into a business relationship. But Ennis can't manage the act, and his life spirals into poverty and dysfunction as he throws everything away for the few chances he gets be with Jack.

In one scene -- the one that will leap into my mind every time I think of Ledger's acting career -- Ennis barges into the grocery store where his wife has taken a job to make ends meet. He's got the kids with him, and tells his wife she's got to mind them so he can go off on short notice. He shoves the bewildered kids at the woman and then takes off. Everything about his body language shows that he knows what he's doing is wrong. But he has no choice. This is what's become of his broken life.

It's a wrenching vignette that plays to every man's worst fears about his own abilities as a father. That's the scene that broke me. And it did so because Ledger was a brilliant enough actor to sell it.

The circumstances of Ledger's death this week are murky. We don't know yet whether he committed suicide with sleeping pills; or merely took too many of them, in the wrong combination, by accident. But the interviews he gave in late 2007 suggest a tormented man -- to the point he could barely sleep. I don't want to psychoanalyze an actor I don't know, or proffer facile analogies between his own life and that of his signature screen character. But when I heard the news of Ledger's death, my mind immediately reached to Ennis' grim outlook on life. However successful or happy or tough a lot of us may be on the outside, there is always --always --a vulnerability within that threatens to drag us down into a ditch.

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http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=261409
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #53 on: January 26, 2008, 11:16:46 am »
From MSN Movies:

A Soulful Talent: Cherishing Heath Ledger


Intelligent, sensitive star made every part uniquely his own

By Kim Morgan
Special to MSN Movies

There's a moment in Heath Ledger's far too short, sometimes brilliant film career that makes me so teary eyed, so filled with wistful emotion, that no matter how many times I watch it, I'm still taken aback by its deceptively simple power. No, it's not a scene from Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain" (his transcendent performance there makes me weep -- for more obvious reasons); rather, it was his final scene in Catherine Hardwicke's "Lords of Dogtown," that underrated skater picture featuring one of Ledger's most poignant performances.

As Skip Engblom, the crusty, aging uncle/father figure to the kids of Team Zephyr, young Ledger played beyond his years with sublime, quirky effortlessness. As in most of his performances, Ledger imbued what could have been a one-note aging stoner dude with sympathy and soul, dignifying Skip with a disarming, surprisingly heart-wrenching end note: Sanding a surfboard in the back of what was once his kingdom, in what could have been an easy, here's-where-he's-at-now scene. Instead, Ledger fills us with a compelling mixture of sadness and a glimmer of hope that Skip will at least survive this life OK. After his boss orders him to finish a surfboard for some kid, the past lord dutifully, but bitterly, complies. Glumly sitting down, Skip slowly perks up to the lovely opening of Rod Stewart's "Maggie May." Pounding to that infectious double drum beat preceding Stewart's passionate "Wake up, Maggie, I think I got something to say to you," Skip, in a flash of understated joy and release, turns up the radio and sings along. Ledger is so in the moment and so naturally bittersweet that in mere seconds, he makes one remember just how much those little things in life can affect you -- those times or sensations that either make you crash hard or for one wonderful, ephemeral moment, lift you higher.

And Ledger could work those powerful sensations in all of his performances, whether he was gleefully laughing at himself in the giddily entertaining "A Knight's Tale" or silently, desperately pining for his beloved in "Brokeback Mountain." It seems silly to say he was underrated since he received an Academy Award nomination for his tortured cowboy Ennis Del Mar in "Brokeback," but in many respects he was underrated. Given that much of his earlier work was looked upon as the standard, hot young thing pabulum many actors slog through before reaching critical credibility, Ledger was often underappreciated for always being interesting, "10 Things I Hate About You," "The Patriot" and all.

Moving his career to his own fascinating frequency, the Australian Ledger eschewed the predictable romantic comedy/action hero leading man roles that could have followed his splashy, sexy 2000 Vanity Fair cover, anointing him as the latest stud du jour. It reads like a terrific career move, an initial sacrifice but ultimately a rewarding step toward serious movie stardom. But watching Ledger skillfully slip into the skin of a depressive, soft-hearted young man in "Monster's Ball" or embody a brash, sexy rake in "Casanova," I can't imagine the actor having any kind of choice. He was just too sensitive, too interesting, too intelligent an actor to not make any part uniquely his own. And exciting. Watching his psychopathic, perfectly hideous Joker in the trailer for Christopher Nolan's upcoming Batman chapter "The Dark Knight" gives me chills, not only for the dual thrill of seeing two of cinema's greatest, chameleonlike talents (Christian Bale and Ledger, who were also terrific in Todd Haynes' stunning Dylan meditation, "I'm Not There") pitted against one another, but for Ledger's maniacal, edgier take on the legendary supervillain. Ledger's ability to create a Joker that'll out-do Jack Nicholson appears to be unquestionable, and this was clearly yet another important transformative moment in the actor's career.

But I'm discussing Ledger's career in the past tense, something I'm having a tough time wrapping my mind around. He was one of my favorite working actors, an actor I've been advocating and arguing for as someone special and different since his earlier roles, and an actor I now find myself cherishing. Like many of you, I was absolutely stunned and depressed to learn of his death. I can barely grasp the realization as I write this right now. He was only 28 years old. He was in the middle of Terry Gilliam's newest picture, an admirable task since, in spite of how great he was in Gilliam's otherwise messy "The Brothers Grimm," you know someone must have advised him against it. But Gilliam, as troubled as some of his productions have been, is an artist. And so was Ledger.

Thinking of the last movie I saw Ledger in, as the beautiful, romantic but flawed and human "live fast, die young" James Dean-inspired Dylan persona in "I'm Not There," I was filled with sadness, recalling the enchanting, idyllic scenes between Charlotte Gainsbourg and Ledger tuned to Dylan's "I Want You." What bliss. What joy to simply watch Ledger engaging in such bliss. And what a magnificent, soulful talent he was, with so much more to give movies and life. To paraphrase Dylan, we want you, we want you, we want you back, so bad.

Kim Morgan is a film writer who runs the MSN Movies Filter blog and has contributed to many outlets including LA Weekly, Reel.com, DVD Journal, Salon and The Huffington Post. She was a film critic for The Oregonian and served as DVD critic on Tech TV's "The Screen Savers." She's also appeared as guest film critic on AMC's "The Movie Club," E! Television, Reelz, Starz and "Ebert & Roeper." Read her blog at SunsetGun.com.

http://movies.msn.com/movies/article.aspx?news=294218
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Offline MaineWriter

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #54 on: January 26, 2008, 11:53:27 am »
These are the notices published by Heath's family in The West Australian (newspaper). I was able to save them as pictures.

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #55 on: January 26, 2008, 11:53:45 am »
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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #56 on: January 26, 2008, 11:54:03 am »
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Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #57 on: January 26, 2008, 06:32:53 pm »
Does anybody know whether Annie Proulx has issued a statement? I don't see a thread for one here, if she has.
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Offline Kelda

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #58 on: January 26, 2008, 07:14:20 pm »
Not as far as I know Jeff...
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Offline louisev

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Re: Heath Ledger Tributes and Obituaries...
« Reply #59 on: January 26, 2008, 07:35:53 pm »
There is a member here who has met Annie Proulx and is a 'friend of a friend' and got word that she was extremely upset about his death.
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