Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Saturday, 5 December 2015
Gabriele Ferzetti (1925-2015), aged 90. Ferzetti, while not having the high profile of a Mastroianni, was also one of
greatest actors, good to see he got to a good age. I saw him as the
paterfamilias in I AM LOVE a few years ago. He will be immortal of course for
his Sandro in Antonioni's L'AVVENTURA in 1960, (right with Monica Vitti), he also starred in Vancini's THE
LONG NIGHT OF '43 that year, which deserves to be better known (review at Italian label). He clocked up a
lot of credits, also notably in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, Draco in ON HER
MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, and THE NIGHT PORTER. I will be catching him in two rarities, A ROOM IN MANHATTAN and Minnelli's A MATTER OF TIME, before too long.
Anthony Valentine (1939-2015), aged 76. A great British TV 'baddie', Valentine had a long career, clocking up 123 credits, without ever becoming a major name, but being a working actor is more important. His major credits include CALLAN and COLDITZ (where he was the hissably evil Nazi) in 1974; other series included Z CARS, RAFFLES, BERGERAC, MINDER, THE BILL, CORONATION STREET and more, He was a cartoon Nazi in ESCAPE TO ATHENA, and a chilling gangster in that memorable scene with James Fox in PERFORMANCE,
Penelope Houston (1927-2015), aged 88. Editor of "Sight and Sound" film magazine from 1956 to 1990, (having taken over from Gavin Lambert), Houston saw the magazine through the changes of the 1960s and 1970s and the great era of international cinema, championing directors like Godard. "S&S" was always the 'highbrow' film magazine for serious film buffs who only saw "important" films - it was essential then; it is still going now, I like the December issue with reports on all those current movies I have been commenting on. Unlike my favourite "Films & Filming" (1954-1980) which was a commercial enterprise, "S&S" was the house magazine of the BFI (British Film Institute) so did not have to struggle to survive. Houston's own criticism was informed, impassioned and she was a memorable presence on the film festival circuit. Her private passions were horse racing and golf which she continued to play into her eighties. RIP indeed.