Monday, June 16, 2008

Stan Winston has died at the age of 62. His effects work on Aliens, Terminator, and Edward Scissorhands were big components of my shaping personality, as I think is the case for just about every boy and girl my age, barring the Amish.

When an artist dies, he takes with him things that can't be replicated. The technical skill can be passed on, but not the shades of personality that invariably, and must, pervade an artist's work.

Thought I was going to post some tender Edward Scissorhands clip, didn't you? Well, there aren't any on YouTube. But I think some will take comfort in knowing that, though Stan Winston may be gone, thanks in large part to him, aliens shall again and again drag Hudsen down under the floor grates.

It hasn't been a month since Sydney Pollack died, and Tim Russert died on Friday. All these guys seemed much too young, but, regarding Tim Russert, who was 58, my grandmother reminded me that my grandfather died at 58 and, in fact, a lot of guys she'd known died at around that age.

Yesterday, I realised I hadn't listened to Peter Bogdanovich's commentary for Citizen Kane. Bogdanovich had apparently spent some time with Welles, and recalled how at one point Welles had said to him, "They'll love me when I'm dead." Which, Bogdanovich remarked, pretty much seemed to be the case. For most of his life, especially his later career, Welles certainly wasn't treated like someone who'd directed what is now widely considered the greatest American movie ever made. Bogdanovich said something like how Welles was too big to be acknowledged. Considering the network of egos that makes up Hollywood social circles, that makes a lot of sense, actually. Welles was 70 when he died. Another life too short, but maybe that's just always the case.

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