[personal profile] magister
Because thus far, it's really not been good enough. David Bowie and Alan Rickman within the space of a few days.

As someone on line observed, you know things are going badly when Alan Rickman's death isn't the biggest cultural loss of the week. Someone else suggested that the other thousands of people who died this week are nudging each other and muttering "Isn't that David Bowie?" All except one, I'd suggest, clad in floor-length robes of night that drink the light, pale face highlighted against long black hair, who is muttering, "This is frankly unacceptable", each syllable enunciated to within an inch of its life and resisting the temptation to just drop a pinch of something unmentionable into the water cooler. Or possibly dressed in an immaculately cut suit, neatly bearded and announcing to the assembled masses "I am an exceptional thief." One gets the feeling that, had this happened three weeks earlier, Christmas really might have been called off.

Think of the performances that we never saw. We've just lost two of the great never-were Bond villains. Rickman telling Brosnan "For England, James." A bleached-blond Bowie sparring with Grace Jones, with no-one noticing the accumulated charisma entirely wiping Roger Moore off the screen. 1988's film of Dangerous Liaisons for some reason thought that John Malkovitch would make a more convincing amoral seducer than Alan Rickman. No. Me neither.

But then there are the moments we have. Rickman's spoon-related threat as the Sheriff, with the explanation "Because it'll hurt more, you twit!" and his reaction to the resulting Bafta - "This will be a healthy reminder to me that subtlety isn't everything!". Bowie's slightly cracked tenor crooning "Because my love for you would break my heart in two, if you should fall into my arms and tremble like a flower," the line delivered almost casually and reaching such a pitch of intensity on the last word. Rickman - well, Rickman saying almost anything with that voice of mingled sweetness and threat, like honey poured over broken glass.

It's been suggested that Christopher Lee, now that he's passed over, has decided to call his warriors to him for the onset of Ragnarok. Lemmy, Bowie and now Rickman. They said that the face of Helen launched a thousand ships. How many would set forth for the voice of Rickman?
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James Brough

July 2017

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