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August 23, 2012 by marissapags



For the past week I have been bed-bound amongst a cozy mess of blankets and pillows, drowning in clouds of tissues and comforted by a sea of excellent DVD’s all due to an irritating case of tonsillitis and the flu. But this long and wearisome week has had one enormous positive, my renewed admiration for one of our most sincere and exceptionally wonderful actors, Heath Ledger. It all started on Sunday night when I tiredly searched through my overflowing DVD collection and slipped out Ten things I hate about you. Craving to watch a light hearted romantic flick (which is quiet rare) I thought this would be the perfect film to satisfy me and it certainly did. My eyes were fixated on the young, shaggy haired Ledger performing the teen role with honesty and charm and at that moment when he charismatically cavorts across the staircase around the football field singing Frankie Valli’s  “Can’t take my eyes off you” my emotions ran wild and instantly I was reminded of how much I miss seeing this face on screen. When the film ended I decided my week would be spent watching, in chronological order, as many Ledger films as I possibly could fit into five days. And so it began, my week of tackling tonsillitis and paying homage to Heath. The next day I hurried to the video shop and borrowed A Knight’s Tale, Monster’s Ball, Ned Kelly and Candy. His versatility and diverseness as an actor fused with his passion and devotion to the art makes him the esteemed Australian actor he is known for today. Each role he plays, he plays with bravery and truth. Candy was the only film I had not yet seen out of the films I had chosen. His acting in this is raw, emotional and he steps into the unnerving and troubled persona of the character he plays with the zest and professionalism he does in every one of his movies. Of course I ended my Heath Ledger spree last night by watching the incredible Christopher Nolan film The Dark Knight where no words have the true ability to properly describe the precision, intensity and profundity of ledgers depiction of the disturbed Joker. As a passionate film student ledger ignites within me a sense of pride, reverence and happiness no other Australian actor does.

I often worry about the Australian movie industry. I think about how prosperous it once was and how it desperately it needs to change and flourish like it once did back in the early 20th century. In fact we produced the very first feature film in 1906 “The story of the Kelly gang” and even after that our industry continued to thrive but only in its brevity (Screen Australia).  With a little help from government subsides and a batch of new, fresh filmmakers and ideas our industry can definitely look toward a better future. Our films don’t quiet hit the right chord with audiences and we often find our movies falling short of the box office. However it fills me with pure delight to see Australian actors such as Heath Ledger conveying their wonderful talents across the world.  His name has contributed to the respect, admiration and value to the Australian film industry. Such a shame he had to die so young when he had so much potential to shine on and continue his journey as a beautiful artist. Never the less he has still made a mark on Hollywood and the Australian film industry and as long as I keep watching his films I will always be reminded of how proud I am to be a fervent film-loving Australian. A toast to Ledger! Here here.





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