Anthony Minghella, the Academy Award winning director of The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Cold Mountain died today. He was 54.
Along with director Sydney Pollack, Minghella formed the indepdent production company, Mirage.
Pollack said: “He was interested in the magic. Not fake magic, like hiding the ball under the cup, but real magic, the kind that occurs between people. Nowadays, everybody making movies wants to get the clothes off fast and the guns out quick, he was just the opposite. He was interested in the poetry, lavishing the viewer with story, and scope and richness. Look at what you got for your $12 ticket with Anthony. There was a real authenticity to his work. He made movies about the world that we live in, where stuff happened that no one could have anticipated.”
“We both know what was junk and what was good. There were a lot of movies that we planned together and are now not going to be able to do. It’s sad for me, but it’s also too bad that people won’t see those movies.”
In addition to film, Minghella directed an acclaimed staging of Madama Butterfly in 2006 and he was recently comissioned the Metropolitan Opera to direct and write the libretto for a new work by the composer Osvaldo Golijov that was scheduled for the 2011-12 season.
Peter Gelb, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera said: “Anthony was the opposite of the prissy, hysterical director. He was calm and intelligent and persuasive, whether he was talking to a board member or a member of the stage crew.”
Quotes taken from Anthony Minghella’s New York Times obituary, which can be read in its entirety here.