This is deeply sad, not least because Minghella’s uniformly superb output has been curtailed so tragically early.
He was one of the few directors who had me running to the cinema the moment his films were released; he once made me cry out loud in a cinema, and his gorgeous production of Madame Butterfly had to be seen to be believed (which is unusual for an opera, where hearing is usually the primary sense…); he understood, I think better than any directors of his generation, the finest points of the art of storytelling, he instinctively knew how to use images, and had a better grasp of music than many a film composer.
Didn’t know him personally, you understand… but he’s up there in the top five film writers who I have learned most from. Top three, even. I’d say that every one of his films is a masterclass in the art, if that didn’t make them sound so dry.
And I’m gutted there won’t be any more of them.