WickedEye's Quotient

1/22/2008 at 22:10

Dirge Without Music

Heath Ledger is dead.

At 28. I don’t really believe it yet.

He was so young. And so very talented.

I constantly make fun of people who keep up with celebrities’ lives. But this…

He had such integrity, such ability. He never took a role he didn’t like and think worthwhile. His filmography was already impressive, and he was- after Lords of Dogtown and especially Brokeback Mountain- one of my “ones to watch”, a young Peter O’Toole or Jack Nicholson in the making.

Ledger’s last scene in Brokeback, standing in his dead lover’s closet, is to this day one of only three that have made me, a moviegoer, feel as though what I was watching was private. Looking at his face, sitting in a theater with 200 people and gazing at a 50-foot high screen, I felt as though I were intruding, seeing something I was not meant- should not be able- to see.

I had to fight not to avert my eyes.

The intensity of the suffering he was able to convey with no words, with barely any movement, the magnitude of tragedy and loss… He transmuted breath to the thready pulse of a man bleeding from a mortal wound, touch to the last, frozen gasp of a swimmer drowning in water too dark to grant sight.

It is something few actors have ever accomplished. And it evidenced genuine genius.

Nobody knows whether he committed suicide or not, yet. But whether he wanted to die or not, the world is a little bit darker for this.

For another golden boy lost to the dull and indiscriminate dust.


…Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.
Crowned with lilies and with laurel they go: but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains - but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,-
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

...Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.


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