It’s not even half way into January and we’ve lost two profound artists—David Bowie, and Alan Rickman. Both were 69 and both died of cancer. Whenever well-known actors and musicians pass, they seem to take the moments in life that they touched with them.
I wasn’t a big Bowie fan—I didn’t own any of his albums, but I liked his music and his style. As I’m more of a movie fan, I knew him more for his talents as an actor. He made the movie Labyrinth, he was chilling in The Hunger, the Man Who Fell to Earth was a wild piece of art, and he was hilarious as himself in Zoolander! I took some time to listen to his music in depth this past week and I immediately saw why he was so loved in that genre. I, of course, knew his hits Space Oddity, Let’s Dance, China Girl, but there was so much more there that the radio didn’t show.
I bought his last album, Black Star. It’s an exceptionally profound album, because he wrote it knowing he was dying. It’s a cerebral and abstract work, which touched on mortality and is profound in the light of his dying of cancer. His video for the song Lazarus has him writing in his notebook furiously, as if he were running out of time and still had so much to say. Indeed, he did.
Alan Rickman was an actor, brilliant in character creation. He played so many memorable characters, but I think many of us remember him first as Hans Gruber, high-priced robber of Nakatomi Plaza in the first Die Hard. His Sherif of Nottingham was the ONLY reason to watch Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, and was well worth it! He was wonderful in Sense and Sensibility. He played Metatron (the voice of God) in Dogma–rubbing blood off of his pants, he whines “It never ends!” He made Galaxy Quest great and of course, he was the perfect Snape in Harry Potter.
I will be watching Alan Rickman movies and listening to David Bowie all this week in honor of these great artists. I’ll be reliving many memories of eras in my life that they affected. Giving so much of their own message, they help both mirror and shape our views on the world.
We will miss you, David and Alan. Tell Lemmy we said, “hello”.