There are few things as exciting in Hollywood as a hot, young talent on the rise. Because of that, few things feel as tragic as the news that another cinematic star has left us far too soon. Here are ten stars who took their final bows while they were still way too young.
This week, it’s a veritable early autumn music festival with films celebrating two of the iconic figures in rock history, along with a cautionary comedy about what can happen to all those singer-songwriters out there who don’t happen to possess the talent of Ian Curtis or Bob Dylan.
Photo credit: Flickr: Stefan the Cameraman
Amazingly, Bruce Wayne has donned his Batsuit for the seventh time in a little over 20 years. The role of Batman has become a nouveau-James Bond of sorts, with a grand total of 4 actors portraying him thus far, in films directed by three different men. When the original BATMAN came out in 1989, comic book and superhero films were far from guaranteed successes, since effects and makeup hadn’t quite risen to the standards of what the deliriously imaginative comic creators could come up with. Nevertheless, Tim Burton’s BATMAN was a commercial and (mostly) critical success, enough to ensure delivery of the arguably better sequel BATMAN RETURNS three years later. Fast-forward (remember that?) to 2005, and MEMENTO director Christopher Nolan resuscitated the franchise with the much darker — and more realistic — BATMAN BEGINS, which in turn was also followed by a superior sequel, THE DARK KNIGHT. Pretty much across the board, the newer Batman films are considered to be the most relevant and successful, but there remains a small and embattled contingent of film fans who actively miss the old days of (pre-SLEEPY HOLLOW) Tim Burton.
Up close and fantastical: An interview with director Terry Gilliam on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS
For 35 years, critically acclaimed director Terry Gilliam has introduced audiences to the fantastic and the bizarre with films such as BRAZIL, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, THE FISHER KING, and 12 MONKEYS. His latest film, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, follows its characters through a new world of dreams and desire, but was not…
Since Sundance Channel shows so many GLBT-themed films, I’d be remiss to not point out After Elton’s recent list of iconic gay movie roles. They based their inclusions on cultural significance and cultural impact, spotlighting “10 performances that we believe changed the popular perception of gay men in some important ways.” The list is thorough…
Terry Gilliam next fantastical foray comes in the form of THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS starring Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Plummer as the titular character. Doctor Parnassus, the leader of a traveling theater troupe that offers audience members a chance to go beyond reality through a magical mirror in…
The Sundance Film Festival turned quiet and mournful as the news of Heath Ledger’s death started showing up on computers and blackberries across Park City. Whispers spread through crowds at theaters as smiling faces suddenly became downcast. On Main Street, all I could hear was people on cell phones saying, “oh my God, have you heard. I can’t believe it.” While Heath Ledger’s work touched the world, the independent film world, many of who have worked with him, have felt his passing even more so.