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[personal profile] academician posting in [community profile] minghella_daily
. A brief review of the segment written by Anthony and starring Julie Christie, John Hurt and Shia LeBeouf.

Christie (who is as stunningly beautiful as ever) plays a retired opera singer who, while looking down into the street from her hotel window, remarks that what she loves about New York is that everyone there came from somewhere else. This is a theme that runs through all of Anthony's work, from the lovely subtexts about immigrants in London that he explores in both his first film Truly Madly Deeply (1990) and his last film Breaking and Entering (2006).

I had read reviews of the film that said that this segment could possibly interpreted as taking place in a kind of 'heaven' or afterlife-world, and I was expecting something along the lines of Sartre's No Exit. Instead, I found it both real and ethereal, sort of like magic realism. Kapur does wonderful justice to Anthony's story; this review calls the segment 'visual poetry', and it really is.

I also loved Mira Nair's segment which stars Natalie Portman and the brilliant Irrfan Khan, and the segment with Robin Wright, who is as wonderful here as she was in Breaking and Entering; one can almost see her as the same character.

The day after Anthony's death, Kapur posted an entry on his blog titled 'My Last Conversation with Anthony Minghella':

On Sunday, two days before Anthony Minghella went in for an operation on a tumour they had just discovered, Anthony called me to see if I would direct a short he had written as part of a film called New York - I love you, where a bunch of directors make short love stories based in NY. Anthony was supposed to direct it himself but given his sudden illness could not do so. He told me his film was about the value of life, and how people sometimes just throw away their lives unable to look beyond into the real beauty of it. Anthony was completely alert and aware of his own mortality at this time, and as long as I had known him, he had valued life in a creative and compassionate way.

Although we had not spoken in two years, we had in that past long conversations about the nature [of] spirituality, life and death. He recalled those conversations - saying that it was those conversations too that led him to believe that I should be the one to direct this short film.

Some stills from the Minghella-Kapur segment:


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In Appreciation of Anthony Minghella

December 2014

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