Whether playing an internationally feared East German terrorist, a corrupt sheriff in Nottingham, or a sneaky Slytherin, Alan Rickman performed each of his roles with grace and panache. He passed away on Thursday at the age of 69, after a private battle with cancer.
Known for his smooth and distinctive voice, Rickman could also tell you profound things with only a look, or, more often, a glare. However, despite an acting career that lasted nearly 40 years and garnered him a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Emmy, the much-loved British actor appeared in only a handful of short films. Most recently, he used his trademark creepiness and subtlety to play a stalker of sorts in Ben Ockrent and Jake Russell's 2013 drama Dust.
In the short film, which has almost no dialog, Rickman quietly pursues a young girl and her mother as they walk home from school. His character is a predatory one, and as the camera focuses heavily on his face and body movements, Rickman conveys a deep sense of need and longing to an incredibly unsettling effect. The film, like Rickman's best characters, has more to it beyond first glance.
He'll be missed.
Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as a film curator. He's the senior curator for Vimeo's On Demand platform. He has also programmed at Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, and the Hamptons International Film Festival.