My last conversation with Anthony Minghella

On Sunday, two days before Anthony Minghella went in for an operation on a tumour they had just discovered, Anthony called me to see if I would direct a short he had written as part of a film a called ‘New York – I love you’, where a bunch of directors make short love stories based in NY. Anthony was supposed to direct it himself but given his sudden illness could not do so. He told me his film was about the value of life, and how people sometimes just throw away their lives unable to look beyond into the real beauty of it.
Anthony was completely alert and aware of his own mortality at this time, and as long as I had known him, he had valued life in a creative and compassionate way..

Although we had not spoken in two years, we had in that past long conversations about the nature spirituality, life and death. He recalled those conversations – saying that it was those conversations too that lead him to believe that I should be the one to direct this short film. We spoke once again about the nature of life and mortality. I also put him in touch with Deepak Chopra who’s books he had read. I am so glad that he and Deepak spoke to each other before Anthony passed away.
Anthony and his beautiful Chinese wife Carolyn were the first people to open up their home to me after I came to the UK to direct Elizabeth. Anthony was compassionate and wise. His smile was one of the kindest I have known. He cared about other people. His son Max, at that time a little boy that constantly took your breath away with his knowledge and wisdom, is now one of Hollywood’s upcoming young stars.
I do wish so much time had not passed between our meetings. I always looked forward to meet him and spend time with him. He always had time despite his busy schedule.
I will direct the film now – with Anthony in my heart and in presence of his soul,

31 thoughts on “My last conversation with Anthony Minghella

  1. OT comment :”I love you, New York”, sounds interesting. I liked “Paris, I love you” a lot. Given its history and heritage(good+bad) New york should be even more interesting. I shall wait eagerly.

  2. Hi Mr Kapur,
    Actually this is not really related to the post. But I just saw your interview on one of the channels here on your movie – Elizabeth (The Golden Age). I don’t know why and its quite inexplicable really and maybe even a cliche, but felt really proud.
    Best regards,
    An Indian

  3. Hi Shekhar
    The more I read you, the more fond I grow of you. I wish I could get out of this trap of corporate world and do creative things in my life. I guess it is quite cowardly of me for mot being able to dare to break free from the comfort zone of a fairly comfortable life. But since my work is not something I love, my heart is restless and my life has a void. I try to do things which make me happy over the weekends — things like going to old age homes, differently abled children homes, street children associations and all, but I am unable to take it up full time because I am scared — scared of breaking free from the life style I am used to.. Anyway, I really appreciate people who have the courage to get out of their nests and spread their wings.. Just like you and many other friends of mine. I really hope that one day even I will be able to do something like that. i wish you all the best for your friends film. Being the fine director that you are, I am sure you will do justice to his vision and wishes. Cheers.

  4. Im sure you will do him proud Shekhar! Its a blessing from his soul! All the best! Im looking forward to that short film!

  5. Dear Shekhar,
    I am sure you would have had great conversations with Anthony as any person who directs a film like ‘The English Patient’ would have to be quite deep. In the same interview I mentioned in the last post, you had asked Anthony if English Patient was a great film and he had replied that it was the right film for the time, and films were right or wrong for the time they are made in (atleast that’s what I remember).
    I would be wonderful if you’ll direct his piece for “New York, I love you,” which is a follow up to the successful ‘Paris, je t’aime.’ Mira Nair is also doing her piece in the film. Having met Mira in New York personally a few times I have developed great respect for her, and it will be wonderful to see two great shorts about the city I love so much.
    Best Regards,

  6. I dont know much about Anthony Minghella except what everybody knows about his great films. The thing you said about his son though made me feel bitter and jealous about the actors who so easily break into the industry due to their connections. i cant help it! most of the talent we see on our screens have some sort of connection. i wish things worked in a more democratic way, in all proffessions not just hollywood. sorry for coming across as cinderella’s ugly sister..

  7. Is Max Minghella is the same person who acted in Bee season?
    I wish Anthony Minghella lived more to give us beautiful emotions interwoven tapestires in film format. His each piece is a master’s craft.
    Shekhar, i am sure you will able to lead his kind of presentations!!!

  8. In France we heard that in this film (NY i love you) we’ll see Isabelle adjani ….Do you like her , and do you keep her in this film ????

  9. Like many have already mentioned, I’m sure you will do Mr. Minghella very proud taking over as director, and that he trusted that you would see to it that his vision he saw for his film, would be put on screen.
    Alot of really great directors (including yourself) and actors/actresses each doing their own take on this interesting sounding film. Personally speaking, this movie would have been great to see the talented and very much missed, Heath Ledger do.
    Shekhar, I recently discovered a new blog that supposedly it has been said was started by Anthony Minghella’s friends. The blogger invites those who knew and worked with Mr. Minghella, to comment and tell their stories. Here is the link if you and others are interested:
    Actress Juliette Binoche submitted a poem on the EW website, that she wrote in memory of her friend and director Anthony Minghella:
    Our movie site also did a director’s spotlight, some time ago, on Anthony Minghella:
    Anthony’s son Max certainly is quite the accomplished actor as you mentioned, and I thought he was great in Bee Season, a movie which by some, was often overlooked. Max has quite a few interesting looking upcoming projects in the works. I just recently read in an interview that Max was suppose to be in this film, New York, I Love You, but understandably it will be another actor. I look forward to hearing more about this from you perhaps Shekhar, and which actors will be doing your short.

  10. Very sad about the passing of this great artist and wonderful person.
    I’m very happy to know you’ll be directing his short and I’m sure you’ll make its justice…
    When do you film it?

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  13. As said by Juliette Binoche.. we shall learn to see films without anymore by him. The English Patient is the best cinematic experience I ever had. The film was so good that it made me follow his films. As rightly said by somebody, a complexity of relationships between partners is one of the greatest adventures and he was the master of this genre. The best news I heard after his death was that you are the chosen one to finish his incomplete film. It’s a pleasant surprise to know that he believed so much in you. I enjoyed “Paris, je t’aime” and looking forward for “New York, i love you”.

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