“It’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.”
– Alan Rickman
The news is still breaking so I apologize for not having a link for the obituary. If you google, there should be several to choose from.
This has been a very sad and difficult week to see people who were such inspirations throughout my life pass away. Those of us who grew up listening to David Bowie and watching Alan Rickman, it’s been extraordinarily hard, which is to say nothing of their families and friends. One of the reasons for these feelings is how much they both transcended genres and decades, exhibiting their talents for all to admire and emulate. Like David Bowie, Alan Rickman could be a chameleon, blending into the background with his subtlety or facial expressions or taking the lead with his huge presence, always looking as though he were snapping a long jacket behind him; for two examples of that, look to his Sheriff of Nottingham and Professor Severus Snape.
Like Bowie, Alan Rickman was 69 (he would have been 70 on February 21st) and he died too early from cancer.
In my twenties, I went through a spell of watching everything done by a couple of actors. Harrison Ford was one, and Alan Rickman was the other. (Norman Reedus is becoming a current one.) I tried to find all of his movies and watch them one after the other. This was probably after Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. He was one of my favorites in that movie. That movie was one of my favorites. In fact, the theme was my wedding song. I could recite his lines verbatim for an annoyingly long period of time, especially threatening to ‘cut your heart out with a spoon!’
I was thrilled when he was set to play Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies. I couldn’t think of a better choice for the range of that character. Having read the books, I knew what was coming in book/movie seven and Alan Rickman is perfect from sadistic bastard to regretful antihero with the emotion and humor and everything else that his brilliance could come up with for each of his roles.
That journey through Alan Rickman’s filmography brought me to a few gems that I might not have found otherwise. I’ve included those two here along with some others that I’ve seen and would highly recommend, although choosing anything from his imdb or Wikipedia filmography lists would be well worth your time.
The January Man – Ed
Closet Land – The Interrogator
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Judge Turpin
Die Hard – Hans Gruber
Quigley Down Under – Elliott Marston
Galaxy Quest – Alexander Dane
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (voice of Marvin)
Portraits in Dramatic Time – this is the brilliance equivalent of Patrick Stewart reading a grocery list. (See video below)
Lee Daniels’ The Butler – President Ronald Reagan