in loving memoriam

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RIP Bill Paxton (1955-2017) - The great actor from many blockbusters of the 1980′s and 1990′s, known for his extensive partnership with James Cameron films (The Terminator, Aliens, True Lies and Titanic) and HBO’s Big Love has died today age 61 after complications from surgery. A true versatile actor who could do both comedy and drama, hero or villain, Paxton appeared in more than 90 projects and among them are: Stripes (1981), Commando (1985), Weird Science (1985) as the bully Chet, Pass the Ammo (1988), Next of Kin (1989), Predator 2 (1990), One False Move (1992), Trespass (1992), Tombstone (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), The Last Supper (1995), Twister (1996), A Bright Shining Lie (1998), A Simple Plan (1998), Mighty Joe Young (1998), U-571 (2001), Hatfields & McCoys (2012), Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Nightcrawler (2015), and the upcoming The Circle (2017). On TV, he is best remembered as Bill Henrickson in Big Love (2006-2011), which earned him 3 Golden Globe nominations; as John Garrett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and most recently in Training Day (2017). He also directed two films: the tense Frailty (2001), in which he also starred and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005). One of the finest people in the business who’ll be truly missed.

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DAVID CASSIDY ~ “I THINK I LOVE YOU”

Rest in peace, David.

In memory of the man who spent too long clinging to a past life, wishing for the time to turn back, hoping to find him on his doorstep saying ‘let’s make up’, loving a user and emotional abuser. Here’s to repairing, rebuilding, resetting. He knows now how to spot a wolf amongst the sheep, to not trust a snake so easily, to know who sticks like glue and who washes off like shit. Most of all, he knows that he can start a new chapter whenever he wants, because he is the author, editor, and illustrator of his life. He knows to choose to define life by the colourful brush strokes on the canvas, and not the empty space between.
—  ‘In Memoriam’, in which I cast off the demons and look to the future.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.
Longevity has its place.
But I’m not concerned about that now.
I just want to do God’s will.
And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain.
And I’ve looked over.
And I’ve seen the promised land.
I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight,
that we, as a people will get to the promised land.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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RIP Andrew Lesnie (1956-2015) - The visionary cinematographer who took us through Middle Earth and presented a whole new world to audiences both in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) and The Hobbit (2012-2014) trilogy, died yesterday, at age 59. Best known for his detailed work on the six films directed by Peter Jackson and winning one Oscar for his cinematography in first LOTR, Lesnie collaborated with Jackson also in King Kong (2005) and The Lovely Bones (2009). Other of his credits include Babe (1995), Babe 2: Pig in the City (1998), I Am Legend (2007), The Last Airbender (2010), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and his last The Water Diviner (2014).

In memoriam playlist

1. Watching the wheels- John Lennon

2. All things must pass- George Harrison

3. Castles made of sand-Jimi Hendrix

4. Last Goodbye- Jeff Buckley

5. Atmosphere - Joy Division ( Ian Curtis)

6. Move over-Janis Joplin

7. Cigarettes and Coffee- Otis Redding

8. Dream a little dream of me - Cass Elliot (Mama Cass)

9. That’ll be the day-Buddy Holly

10. Keep me in your heart- Warren Zevon

11. The show must go on-Queen (Freddie Mercury)

12. The man comes around-Johnny Cash

13. Can’t change me-Chris Cornell

14. Watermelon in Easter Hay- Frank Zappa

15. Something in the way- Nirvana (Kurt Cobain)

16. Back to Black-Amy Winehouse

17. Sometimes it snows in April-Prince

18. Badfish- Sublime ( Bradley Nowell)

19. We die young- Alice in chains (Layne Staley & Mike Starr)

20. When the music’s over- The Doors (Jim Morrison,Ray Manzerak)

21. Only God can judge me- 2Pac

22. Ben- Michael Jackson

23. That’s life- Frank Sinatra

24. Fade to black-Metallica ( Cliff Burton)

25. Cemetery Gates- Pantera (Dimebag Darrell)

26. Green Man- Type O Negative ( Peter Steele)

27. I’m so lonesome i could cry- Hank Williams

28. Everything happens to me- Billie Holiday

29. We belong together- Ritchie Valens

30. Chantilly Lace- Big Bopper

31. I fall to pieces- Patsy Cline

32. A change is gonna come- Sam Cooke

33. Alexandria Leaving- Leonard Cohen

34. Dreams- Allman Brothers Band ( Duane & Gregg Allman,Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks)

35. Time in a bottle- Jim Croce

36. One of these things first- Nick Drake

37. Spoonful- Howlin’ Wolf

38. Cosmic Dancer- T.rex (Marc Bolan)

39. The Ballad of Curtis Loew- Lynyrd Skynyrd ( Ronnie Van Zant , Steve & Cassie Gaines)

40. Starman-David Bowie

41. Live to Win- Motörhead ( Lemmy Kilmister)

42. Hot Burrito #1-Flying Burrito Brothers ( Gram Parsons)

43. Mercy Mercy me (The ecology)-Marvin Gaye

44. The Thrill is Gone- BB King

45. Stairway to heaven- Led Zeppelin (John Bonham)

First Bowie, Now Alan Rickman...

Rickman wasn’t one who relished playing the villain, but he was a genius at portraying them.  He wanted to make sure a character realized their fullest potential, even if that character was pretty despicable all the way around.  John Sessions, a friend of Rickman’s, once said that a kid at a party once asked Alan why he always played villains:  Rickman responded, “I don’t play villains: I play very interesting people.”

Rickman was a brilliant actor.  He wasn’t JUST Snape, though that was the role of a lifetime.  He wasn’t JUST Hans Gruber, though that character is one of the greatest and most iconic villains in all of cinema BECAUSE of Rickman.

Here are some non-villain parts that Rickman gave life to:

Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Harry from Love Actually

Metatron (the voice of God) from Dogma

Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility

Alexander Dane from Galaxy Quest (a brilliant parody of Leonard Nimoy)

And let us never forget Professor Severus Snape, the role that required knowledge that only J. K. Rowling herself knew.  The great author of the most beloved fantasy series of our time felt Rickman was the perfect choice, and trusted him with the greatest secret of the series before the novels were even finished.  

And these are just a few of his magnificently varied characters.  I’d like you to just look at the roles I’ve listed above and take in the purely unique quality of every part, savor the strength that Alan Rickman used to give every one of his performances life.  While Science Fiction and Fantasy are in many ways the new mainstream cinema genres, they are still looked down upon by many actors.  That has certainly changed, but Rickman was not at all bothered by the idea of playing genre specific parts: long before it was normal for actors of prestige to take on fantastically-oriented roles.  This was because he respected the power of virtually all genres.  Many of the parts he took were certainly brave.  He parallels Tilda Swinton in that he’ll lend all of his talent to a big budget movie targeted at the widest possible audience but also give the same attention to more independent works with less money to spare and a more than likely limited audience (I’m recalling a rendition of some of Samuel Beckett’s work specifically).  Rickman was undoubtedly an artist, but he was also an artist who helped other artists.

I honestly think he avoided his fear of being doomed to being typecast as the man who plays the villain.  He gave too many brilliant performances to be thought of as only a villain actor.  That said, he was one of the best villain actors of all time (on par will Christopher Lee and Gary Oldman).  Do you know what Alan Rickman’s first cinematic role was? A little movie called Die Hard, where, in his first film role, he created both a villain for the ages and innovated the villain of the action genre to a height that few have rivaled.  He understood Gruber’s intellect and endowed the character with the full intelligence that made the part so unforgettable.  I’d now like to pay tribute to only a few of Rickman’s villains.

Hans Gruber from Die Hard (Ranked #46 [out of 50] on The American Film Institute’s list of the !00 Greatest Heroes & Villains in Cinema [should be higher, but making that list at all is an astounding feat]).

The Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - Rickman’s Sheriff is by far the highlight of that film, and he gave a character that we all thought we knew a more sinister agency and higher ambition than previous incarnations of the role.  Again, we see the signature Rickman intelligence shining through.  

Grigori Rasputin in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny

Judge Turpin in Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - There are very few innocents in Sweeny Todd, and there are far more villains than heroes.  Turpin, however, acts as the villain antagonist for the villain protagonist.  The Judge is also the primum mobile of evil in that most of the horrific events that make up the story are due in large because of his own desires, which are as dangerous as they are licentious.


These are only four of Rickman’s villain portraits, and one can only marvel at his talent, brilliance, and devotion to his craft.  Today we have lost a great player and a humble man of genius who devoted his life to art, who respected its multitudinous element of expression.

Alan Rickman

February 21, 1946 - January 14, 2016

Rest well.  Know that your legacy will never be forgotten.