ladies and gentlemen it’s hard to believe - but this week sees three significant film-related deaths, with the sad losses of anthony minghella, arthur c clarke, and paul scofield.

jett loe on www.thefilmtalk.com has already said that minghella was a genuine ‘big’ film maker, and nick james, editor of ’sight and sound’ suggests that he was the natural heir to david lean; all i’ll add is that i never saw a film by him that i didn’t like, and i could watch ‘the talented mr ripley’ any time - for its rhythm, for its performances, for its music, and for the way it gets under the skin of how loneliness can turn into neurosis.

what do you say about arthur c clarke? i grew up with his ‘mysterious world’ tv show; i can replay his gutteral voice in my mind, i had my imaginative horizons expanded when i read his book ‘rendezvous with rama’; but, beyond all that, ‘2001′ is one of those movies that leaves me feeling like i’ve seen the greatest film ever made, every time i see it. people suggest that all he brought to it was scientific nuance - but his sense of wonder at the possibility of there being intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is clear.

Paul Scofield - a real actor

and then there is paul scofield. ‘a man for all seasons’, ‘king lear’, ‘quiz show’, ‘the crucible’ - do yourself a favour: take your pick, and watch one this weekend. he may have had the accent of a pompous theatrical knight - but this guy knew how to act.