I do not often gasp out loud in horror when I read a story on a website, but I have done just that after reading about the sudden death of film director Anthony Minghella. I am totally shocked and feel deeply saddened.
I did not know Minghella at all and never interviewed him, but I attended a talk he gave about his work at the London Book Fair in March 2004. I met him fleetingly afterwards as he did a signing session for the screenplay of Cold Mountain. A rare “fan” moment for me, but I had a such respect for his craft and talent.
For fun, I also asked him to sign the synopsis of a book I was trying to get published at the time. He asked me about it and we spoke for a few moments. (Deep, deep down, in a fantastical way, I guess I wanted him to eventually make the film of the book). He chuckled warmly as he signed the synopsis and said, with a big, big smile: “Does this mean I have blessed it?” I wrote about this encounter later.
He struck me as a sincere, gentle, modest and supremely gifted man. What a loss.