Robin Williams RIP
I guess that Mrs. Doubtfire 2 script wasn’t too great huh? What? What’s that? ‘Too soon’? Well fuck you, he was a comedian and the whole point of that species existence is to lighten the whole serious nature of life, and pave the way to inevitable crushing death with a few giggles and respites – so I think he would have enjoyed a few respectful gags at his expense. The sad news isn’t particularly surprising if you’ve heard of the problems he’d had with depression and associated self medication over many years, yet I was slightly shocked to awake to this UK time, is it me but does there seem to be a spate of these tragedies occurring at the moment? Uncertain times. Anyway, just to prove I’m not a completely ice-cold wretch I actually like and was moved by the conclusion to Dead Poets Society, while he showed some definite range as the cold killer in Nolan’s Insomnia this movie was the first that leapt to mind in terms of a tribute;
I have vivid memories of going to see that with friends back in 1991 and throughly enjoying the picture, for once he found his manic match in Gilliam who actually got him to tone it down for a quietly moving performance. Apparently he was a massive Gaming Fan and RPG enthusiast, can you imagine his hyperkinetic 6th level Paladin in your party?….EDIT – as you may have guessed I threw this together quite quickly during my lunch break at work, having got home and immersed myself in some of the obituary threads it’s only begun to sink in how big a deal this loss is for a lot of people. Pushing aside the schmaltzy movies he made (although I’ve just loaded up What Dreams May Come which is a very strange Hollywood movie for a number of reasons) his career had taken a rather interesting turn since the millennium, tackling areas of undeniable darkness in the likes of One Hour Photo, the aforementioned Insomnia, and this quietly brilliant oddity;
I’ve read so many stories about how he really was one of the good guys, generous with his time and posing for photos for fans constantly without complaint, constantly seeking that acceptance which drove him into performance in the first place – here is a solid article on depression and comedians. From a menagerie perspective to direct you to real cult oddities I humbly suggest this, a very odd ‘noughties’ SF film which I accidentally caught on Film4 late one night, not the greatest film ever made but something which at least had some ideas swirling in the ether;
Long time David Simon fans will also recall Williams memorable turn in Homicide, here is the astounding behind the scene story of his appearance, how he saved the series, and a very insightful glimpse behind the mask. You know I’ve been feeling a little guilty about opening this modest memorial up with that joke but on reflection I think it stays, especially when you do your own research and discover what he said to Spielberg when he rang him from the set of Schindlers List, looking to be cheered up after a particularly tough day of shooting. Finally this WTF which is Marc Maron at his interviewing best, coaxing out the real person beneath the persona, and this which says it all, if you’ll excuse me its got kinda dusty in here….