Friday, November 03, 2006

Rest In Peace, Adrienne Shelly

Strange, sad and shocking news. I read that Adrienne Shelly has been found dead in her office, by her husband. No cause of death has yet been given.

Truthfully, I don't care much for the majority of films that Adrienne Shelly appeared in, but Hal Hartley's Trust and The Unbelievable Truth are movies that I love very much. I keep going back to watching Adrienne and Martin Donovan together in Trust, like it's some kind of cinematic box of biscuits. She was perfect as Maria Coughlin, one of Hartley's most well-created protagonists, always keeping in time with Hartley's peculiar tempo and matching the precise tone of his skewed, off-centre but delicately balanced film world. Being able to fit into a Hal Hartley film takes a very measured, calculated kind of performance, structured perfectly but structured around a real, genuine human centre, and this approach was aced by Adrienne in both of these films. Even if Parker Posey has been Hartley's choice of late, Adrienne wrote the play book.

Sudden Manhattan was Adrienne's directorial debut, and again, not really something I enjoyed. Recently, she completed the film Waitresses, which has a truly exciting cast, but it has yet to be screened. I imagine there will be some teary eyed festival engagements in the months to come.

There's a little list of actors and actresses who could convince me to get in line for a ticket or pick up a film on rental even when I expect the experience overall to be somewhat lacking. These kinds of performers I want to see, want to support, want to enjoy even when they might be slumming it, indulging themselves or simply making a bad choice of role. Adrienne Shelly was one of these people and, sorry, but now the light has gone out for any number lesser films that would have been lucky to have had her.

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