Actor John Saxon died last week. With almost two-hundred roles over six decades, he was a distinctive presence on screen though never a star. In the 1970s and “80s, he worked regularly in Italian genre movies, doing much of the work that his fans most appreciated.
Agnès Varda, whose remarkable career spanned from 1955’s La Pointe Courte to the recently released Varda by Agnès (2019), has died at the age of 90. In six-and-a-half decades, she created a body of work rooted in a fascination with human beings and the social forces which shape them, in features and documentaries full of acute insights and humour.
The older I get, the more often I hear of the death of people who have touched my life in some way. This summer seems to have been worse than most.
George A. Romero, who died on July 16, a master of the horror film, was influential far beyond the movies, having originated the now-ubiquitous zombies of pop culture in his best known films, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead.
Some brief comments on several recent movie-related deaths, plus random observations about an eclectic group of recently watched Blu-rays in various different genres.
Artsploitation Films has released George Moises’s Counter Clockwise (2016), a new low-budget addition to the time travel paradox sub-genre; and several notable cinema personalities have recently departed.
The French comic filmmaker Pierre Etaix, whose work spanned the decade of the ’60s only to vanish for 40 years before being rediscovered and restored in 2010, has died at the age of 87.
Dan Ireland, director of The Whole Wide World (1996), died on April 14, aged 57.
Polish director Andrzej Zulawski has died, age 75, just as a restored version of his ambitious science fiction epic On the Silver Globe is scheduled to premiere in New York.
Two distinguished British actors passed away in June after long and varied careers in film and television: the imposing Christopher Lee and the debonair Patrick Macnee, both at age 93.