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Friday, January 15, 2016

Listen to church bells ringing "Space Oddity"

This may be the most amazing tribute to David Bowie that has been done in the past few days: Dom Tower, the tallest church tower in the Netherlands, built in 1382 and with bells dating back to 1505, tolling out "Space Oddity".

I've grown ever more fascinated with Bowie since it was announced that he had passed. Having listened to his final album and watched the last two videos he made ("Blackstar" and especially "Lazarus"), one most certainly gets the sense that Bowie was not only fully aware of his mortality, but that he was accepting it with a mighty grace.  I can't help but think that there is also a sublime acknowledgement toward God in some of the lyrics and images, and that Bowie was surrendering to that.

When I posted about his passing a few days ago, I wrote that perhaps the most amazing thing of David Bowie was how he was not afraid to grow and change as he grew older.  That went for him as a showman.  But even more importantly, it went for him as a man.  The David Bowie of 2016 was not the David Bowie of 1976, and he never pretended to be.

There is a good philosophy in there somewhere.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

And now, Alan Rickman is gone

We are losing an unfortunate amount of truly extraordinary talent this week...

Hans Gruber. The Sheriff of Nottingham. Rasputin. Marvin the Paranoid Android. The Metatron. So many roles that Alan Rickman had in his amazing career.

But for me, there is really only one that best exemplifies Rickman's profound ability. The role he had throughout eight films for more than a decade. A character who has come to be considered one of the most complex in all of modern fiction.

There was really only one person who could have ever brought Severus Snape alive on the big screen. And from the moment I first saw him in Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, it's been Rickman who I've seen whenever I've re-read those books.

So in his memory, here are all of the scenes of Severus Snape from the Harry Potter films, in the character's chronological order:

Monday, January 11, 2016

"And the stars look very different today..."

Very sadly, they certainly do.

A true artist in every possible sense. I think what fascinated me most about David Bowie, other than his musical and acting talent, is that he was never afraid to grow and change as he got older. He had the strength to adapt, and become even better. Too many performers try to cling to their younger days. Bowie didn't flee from his age, he embraced it and made it his own. A lot of artists would do well to emulate Bowie. And some might still be with us had they done so to begin with.

When I think of Bowie as an actor, what will always come first to mind for me is his brief but electrifying (pun horribly intended) portrayal of Nikola Tesla in The Prestige. I can't really think of anyone else who would have possibly done the role any justice.

David Bowie
1947 ~ 2016