Wednesday 1 August 2007

The Beauty We Might Have Seen...

The film and art world lost two brillant directors this week - Ingmar Bergman's death was reported Monday morning and then a scant few hours later, Michelangelo Antonioni passed away (which was mostly reported the following morning). So far, each of them has (at the very least) left an impact with every film I've seen of theirs - in particular Bergman. I look forward to delving further into the enormous catalog of work both have left behind - fully realized masterpieces by each of them still await my viewing. It's sad to see them depart, but they each lived long, rich and productive years.

But what of those who leave too early?

This morning when I hopped over to the Greencine Daily blog (like I do every morning), I half expected to see yet another world renowned director's name above an obit. And when I saw that omimous pair of brackets around two years (the last of which was 2007), I drew a quick breath. It wasn't a famous name though. I had never even heard of the person actually. The title of the post was simply:

Jeremy Blake (1972 - 2007)

I read a bit further and then realized that I had actually seen some of his work. And loved it. He was responsible for those beautiful washes of morphing colour that appeared in P.T. Anderson's film Punch-Drunk Love. Those gorgeous shifting colours and lines that brought a great film to greater heights and helped give that impression of, well, being punch drunk in love. Here's the trailer for the film to give you some examples:

So I perused a bit further and browsed this site for a bit of his work in digital video. He considered himself primarily a painter who simply worked without paint. His work is - simply put - stunning. I wouldn't expect everyone to be as affected by his work as I was, but I kept saying "Wow" to myself the further I looked through the site. It just meshes so well with the type of artwork I enjoy and something I appreciate in film (as addressed in some previous posts, particularly at the beginning of Kwaidan - The Beauty). You could say it captures my aesthetic sensibilities.

Here's another great example of some of his work - the video for Beck's song "Round The Bend":

He was 35. It's likely he took his own life due to other tragic circumstances that had recently occurred. I make no comparisons to the legends who recently passed away nor excuses for what he did. But I feel a deeper sadness (and more sympathy to relatives and friends) when someone much younger, who likely had plenty more beauty to share, is no longer with us.


PIPER said...

Great post. Like you, I was familiar with his work but just didn't know it. His work for both Punch Drunk Love and the Beck video is amazing. The trippy colors floating in and out were a great addition to the strange story being told in Punch Drunk Love.

As you said, you can only wonder what he would have contributed had he lived longer.

Bob Turnbull said...

Thanks Piper...

It strikes me that the kind of work he did could potentially be written off as "anyone could do that..." (since it's abstract), but the fact is no one else did. And damn if it isn't just a thing of beauty.