After the devastating announcement yesterday of Heath Ledger’s death, I prepared myself for the onslaught of invasive news stories that would come. Stories that dove way to deeply into the private lives of people at the moment that they most need privacy. Numerous news sources painstakingly covered the moment that Naomi Watts, Ledger’s ex girlfriend, heard of his death and broke down in tears. Well of course she did! Do we really need a news article telling us that? And how about all of the “Oh! look at this video of him two months ago! Isn’t it obvious what would happen?”
However, of all the places buying into the trivialization of this very talented actor’s death, I never expected that Pitchfork would be one of them. The article, which appeared today on Pitchfork’s main page, is called “The Heath Ledger/Nick Drake Connection” and it basically says that Heath Ledger had an obsession with Nick Drake and isn’t that interesting because they both died young and Heath once did a video to a Nick Drake song where he drowned himself. Wow. VERY insightful, wouldn’t you say? Come on Pitchfork. For a website that is so high and mighty about everything else- can’t you see how demeaning this is? He liked Nick Drake….so what! We all like Nick Drake. Why is this news “startling” ? While it is interesting that he made a video for a Nick Drake exhibit, it just seems like you are exploiting the little scrap of something that is in any way music related and using it to sensationalize his death.
Anyways, I just want to say: Shame on you Pitchfork.
The Article: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/page/news/48205-the-heath-ledgernick-drake-connection
The already startling death of actor Heath Ledger has taken on another startling dimension following the revelation that Ledger courted a self-proclaimed obsession with another tragic figure, late English folk singer Nick Drake. This obsession even manifested itself in a Drake music video.
“I was obsessed with an artist by the name of Nick Drake,” Ledger explained at a September 2007 Venice Film Festival press conference [via MTV.com]. Ledger was promoting I’m Not There at the time, in which he plays Bob Dylan, along with several other actors and actresses.
“I was obsessed with [Drake’s] story and his music and I pursued it for a while and [I] still have hopes to kind of tell his story one day. But it kind of died away, faded away, because I…He was a very mysterious figure and I felt like I would be taking too many liberties.”
The body of 28-year-old Ledger was found yesterday (January 22) in a Manhattan apartment. Since sleeping pills were found nearby, Ledger’s death was widely reported as being most likely drug-related. However, according to the Associated Press, an autopsy performed today proved inconclusive, andTMZ.com reports that Ledger had pneumonia at the time of his death.
Drake, meanwhile, died in 1974 at the age of 26 from an apparent overdose of the antidepressant amitriptyline.
As the MTV.com report explains, “A representative for Drake’s estate described the ‘gorgeous’ and ‘extremely moving’ clip as a stark black-and-white composition, consisting mainly of the director turning the camera on himself. In the end, Ledger is seen drowning himself in a bathtub.”
The song playing during this is Drake’s “Black Eyed Dog”, purportedly the last song the English singer ever wrote and allegedly a reference to Winston Churchill’s description of depression.
The estate of Nick Drake, which owns the Ledger video, has not yet decided whether to release it.