Published  28/04/2008

Lost master of the universe

What has surprisingly not been much commented on in all the valedictory tributes to the late film director/producer Anthony Minghella was his brilliant visual sense, as opposed to his dramatising skills. All his major films are extremely, prolifically stunning in every scale. 'The English Patient' seemed to caress the desert landscape in a way that David Lean, even with Lawrence of Arabia, could never achieve. In 'Cold Mountain' he carefully underplayed the mountainous terrain. In 'The Talented Mr Ripley' he captured Italian night street scenes and angularity with the skill of a 1920s German expressionist. Again, even with 'The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency' Minghella caught the African landscape perfectly, via the sun, and yet muted its force on the film's players. The question now is who can fill the gap he left?

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