Borderlands (Zev Berman, 2007): 6.5/10

The Magic Flute (Ingmar Bergman, 1975): 7/10

La Guerre Est Finie (Alain Resnais, 1966): 7/10

Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers, 2008): 8/10

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Location: milwaukee, wi

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A little more on Heath Ledger

Here's where I get a little livejournal on everyone (this is actually an abridged version of something I did post in my livejournal), but I had a really visceral reaction to Heath Ledger's death, and thinking and writing about it really revealed a lot.

So I've had about 24 hours to think about this, and I'm ready to process why the death of Heath Ledger so profoundly bummed me out. There has been this sudden outcrying of "Why do you care?" Some have tried to play the socially conscious card (There are so many child soldiers dying in Africa every day!, I actually read someone comment on Gawker), and others, the plain old cooler-than-thou "You're stupid if you care" card. Let me address both of these seperately.

Yes, Ledger's death is no more or less meaningful than every single other person that dies every single day of the year. But did I have a (seemingly) personal connection with every single other person that dies? I did not. And personal connection is what this is about -- the more I explored my reaction to the death of one of my favorite actors, the more I realized that for someone who cares about and loves film like I do, the personal connection between actor and spectator is the most important, vital part of the experience. If there's no personal feelings for the character, and by proxy, the actor, film means almost nothing. And that's why I felt like there was something beyond celebrity worship behind my intense reaction to Ledger's death. One thing I resent about the cooler-than-thou crowd is, contrary to my belief that his death was no more important than the death of anyone else, they seem to think that because Ledger was famous, his death is far less important than the death of someone else. That's not right either.

After all, he was a public person whose livelihood depended on people liking him, or at least respecting him. I did both.

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