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Friday, January 15, 2016

RIP Alan Rickman

It's tragic that every time I post here, it has something to do with a death.

Last night Alan Rickman died. He and David Bowie were around the same age (69), the cause of death was the same (cancer).

My earliest memories of his performance was, like many, as Hans Gruber in DIE HARD. But I was a child then, and I wasn't able to appreciate the greatness of his performance. I just wanted to see Bruce Willis be a hero and save the day. I was a child too, when he played the Sheriff in ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES, so again, the charismatic portrayal was lost to me.

When was it that I started appreciating him? It was probably as Dr Lazarus in GALAXY QUEST, it was also probably as Metatron in Kevin Smith's DOGMA (in a period of time when I was binge-watching Kevin Smith films). It might even be this little-seen film BLOW DRY that I saw alone in cinema. But by then, he was already Severus Snape in the HARRY POTTER films.

Unlike the novels, I actually liked the HARRY POTTER films more and more as it went on. It had a lot to do with Alan Rickman's performance. I relished having him appear onscreen as this morally ambiguous, mysterious Professor Snape, whose underlying pain and decency was always apparent beneath his menace and sarcasm. So there was a lot of joy catching these Harry Potter films.

His distinctive voice, and the way he played with words, the way he could effortlessly command the screen, the way you couldn't stop staring at him. He had left a marvellous body of work that will endure. I'm just sad that there weren't anymore for us to savour in the future.

RIP Alan Rickman.
Posted by Edmund Yeo on Thursday, January 14, 2016