This past week, the world lost two visionary artists who were beyond ground-breaking in their respective fields. As evidenced by newsfeeds filled with tributes to these artists, the loss of their passing was felt worldwide. And while I, nor most people, knew either David Bowie or Alan Rickman personally, to quote someone from the Twitterverse “Thinking about how we mourn artists we've never met. We don't cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.”
In the early 80s, had no understanding of the legend of David Bowie. To me, he was the devilish, but incredibly stylish villain in Labyrinth. A character that was both intoxicating, yet inherently dangerous. Part-musical, part-twisted muppetry, Labyrinth spoke to my love of dark fantasies before I even knew what that was.
As I grew into adulthood, the love of escapism through fantastical literary and cinematic journeys didn’t fade. The elaborately detailed world of Harry Potter created by JK Rowling echoed the Labyrinth’s and Wrinkle in Time’s of my youth. One of the few movie adaptations to pay tribute to the original books, the cast was a British who’s who embodiment of each character. And Alan Rickman brilliantly brought to life the snarky, yet emotional character of Severus Snape.
Like the love of fantasy that has been intertwined in my creative development, the spine-chilling effect of beautiful harmony draws me to many of the musical artists that I adore. The stripped version of Under Pressure that has recently surfaced after David Bowie’s passing has the innate quality to set your skin ablaze.
In the late 90s/early 2000s, there wasn’t a Kevin Smith movie that I didn’t watch. If you asked me circa 2001 what my favorite movie was, I would have said Mallrats. Something about the slacker adults with no direction spoke to me, despite not quite having yet reached adulthood. Dogma was unique, as it was more societal satirically commentary than a celebration of slackerdom. And Alan Rickman’s sardonic droll gave the appropriate edge to an angel on Earth.