Archive for the ‘Heath Ledger’ Category

Love, trust and faith in directing

Beyond words, sounds. Beyond a blink, a sigh, a smile, a touch, a frown. Is there communication in absolute silence and stillness ? Is there communication in a sense of being ? Beyond just the simplistic scientific ideas of thought transfer and telepathy ?

I have often felt such strong communication in the presence of absolute Love and trust. Not with just vague ideas of words like ‘Hey I love you” thrown at each other , but love and trust that is focussed, active and eager at that moment. Which when combined together seem to bring our deeper selves out from our assumed physical containment, into an energy that mingles and entangles with each other. And that mingling leads to something more ethereal, more harmonious and ideas so limitless that words and gestures could not have conjured up.

I often do that when I direct. I ‘sense’ rather than speak about my relationship with actors. I actively try and create a sense of trust and bonding of love not only with my actors, but with everyone on the set. When the actors are performing, I am loosing my identity into them and creating so called ‘energy fields’ around the set so we all become part of a harmonious ‘moment’ urging for something to be created beyond ourselves but also through ourselves. And often in response they are doing the same.

Not only in my experience with actors like Cate Blanchet , Heath Ledger, Geoffrey Rush and Naseeruddin Shah, with whom I have had experiences where our souls have had the courage to be ‘naked’ in front of each other for that moment, our senses acutely alive to some deeper and often unknown aspect of ourselves in each other, leading to a performance where in hindsight you wonder in awe where and how it evolved so unpredictlably but yet so beautifully.

But also with musicians like Nusrat fateh Ali Khan and A R Rahman. With Nusrat most of the communication was done by him looking into my eyes and singing with tears flowing from both our eyes, having been transported to a realm higher than ourselves. I have been blessed by moments when such people that have trusted and loved me too.

Often producers have felt insecure that I do not look at the ‘Video Monitor’ judging the ‘shot’. I cannot. How do I trust a moment of absolute faith and maintain a connect of love and faith with my actors through a machine ?

But of course such love and trust is possible only after huge amounts of thought and dialogue between my actors and composers and scriptwriters. Before trust comes, there must be understanding. But at the moment of ‘creation’ it all has to be let go into the search for something beyond all that was said and discussed, into something unpredictable.

It’s the essence of all creativity, a huge sense of focussed discipline, followed by a complete letting go. Into moments of absolute faith.

Directing is so much like living. Love , trust and faith.

Heath Ledger, have two years passed ?

It’s 5.20 am and am struggling to sleep in my hotel room in San Hose. Jet lag ? No, something else is nagging me – and then it comes like a bolt, a sudden sharp, almost physical feeling of sadness. It Heath’s 2nd Anniversary of his passing.
For those that know this blog, will know of my special relationship with Heath. Well, that survives time. Even through the sadness and heavy heart I sense him laughing and smiling almost looking down and saying “Get on with it, Mate !”
Lots of other things come to mind. What do two years mean ? What does passing of time mean ? How little or more have I achieved in the last two years. How productive have I been – and all this on context of Heath’s passing as if time stopped there and started again ? Is what you have done, or what has happened, or the events that have taken place since the only measure of time ? Or is there something far more eternal about time ?
Tonight I am going to LA and having dinner with Orando Bloom. The last time we met was in Heath’s friend’s pad in Melbourne, where Heath was proudly showing a rough cut of Four Feathers to all his friends. So proud was he of his performance in a film that actually did very little at the box office.
So I am just going to look up at Heath’s smiling face and say “Hey, Mate ! We are still down here trying undersatnd it all” Trying to imitate his broad Australian drawl.

Did Heath Ledger really leave us a year ago ?

The New York Post asked me to write a tribute to Heath Ledger on the anniversary of his passing. It seems just yestrday.
Time, say philosophers, mystics and quantum scientists is an illusion. Before the Big Bang there was Eternity. Beginnings and Ends are just means to contextualize our lives within our limited perceptions of a world that surrounds us.
Every now and again a human being is born to remind us of Eternity. Heath Ledger was amongst those, who we quietly whisper prayers for in our quite moments, wish for in our dreams and in have a special place for our every day thoughts. God knows how many people in this world still carry the pain of the loss of him. Why did a man who lived amongst us for such a short time, and did such few films, leave such a huge imprint upon us when he left ? I have people writing letters on this blog who had never seen a Heath Ledger film, who were not fans, but felt the shock and impact of the loss of Heath Ledger. Everyday ordinary people that a year later are still coming to terms with his passing ?
Like he was an Angel.
Or the Dark Knight. In which Heath left indelible impressions of incredible humanity behind the garb of evil. So much that people went back again and again to the theatres to experience the presence of Heath Ledger. I remember a conversation with Robert Richardson the DP of Four Feathers ” Just make sure that the audience are able to look into Heath’s eyes. They tell a story of ancient wisdom and all of humanity”. Not an easy job for a DP when Heath would so easily break into an Australian crinkle and narrow his eyes, so that the point of light so carefully put by the DP would search desperately for their subject ! I used to tell Heath that he was an ancient soul in a youthful body and mind. That his struggle was between the ancient wisdom he carried in his soul and the coming to terms with youth.
That struggle showed and I was the ‘brother from another mother’ as he called me, that embraced him at those moments.
I wish I was there to embrace him when he passed away. I was so close. But then, it was not meant to be. In his passing he left behind his indelible footprint. As I write this peice I hear that Heath has bean nominated for the Oscars.
Wherever you are Heath, I can see you crinkling your eyes and laughing your deep laughter and saying ” Hey brother, what d you think of that ?” Nothing more, nothing less. Everything just was, is, and will be. In Eternity.

Was heath ledger an ‘angel’ that came to visit us ?

The incredible reaction world wide to Heath’s death continues to amaze me. I knew that Heath carried in himself an ancient soul that had seen many lifetimes, a soul that Heath himself was uncomfortable with, and I wanted to share the following from Catherine :
Dear Mr. Kapur and the many people that obviously share an interest in your work –
I feel odd to be writing this because it feels like an intrusion into the world of family and friends that actually knew Heath Ledger and had reason to so profoundly feel the loss of his life in such an intimate way. I have to admit that Heath Ledger’s death has affected me in a very uncharacteristic and admittedly unnerving way.
I have never understood the whole “groupy” element that follows the life of a public figure as if they actually know that person. I love escaping into other lives through movies, and I have noticed how a truly gifted actor can leave you feeling as if you have known them. Nonetheless, I have always been able to separate real life from fiction, and I have consistently felt that fans and the press have no right at all to intrude in the actual personal lives of these public figures, no matter how charismatic they are.
Given that, I was and still am unsettled to discover how upset I was to learn of Heath Ledger’s death. It was as if my heart truly stopped for a time, taking my breath with it. I feel as though I’ve been grieving ever since.
In checking the CNN website now and then to see what comforting news I might somehow find, I discovered the kind words that you wrote about your friend Heath, and I subsequently discovered your website. I have to admit that it was a comfort to see how other total strangers to Heath Ledger have been affected by him.
Since his death, I have tried to understand the impact he had on me……