Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Pete Postlethwaite 1945-2011

© Spanner Films

Happy New Year. It begins however tinged with sadness as we reflect on the life of Pete Postlethwaite who died on 2 January from cancer aged 64. Over the holiday break I watched Inception in which Postlethwaite has the role of Maurice Fischer, a dying father and head of a global energy conglomerate. Across a prolific career he may well be best remembered for leading roles in films such as Brassed Off (1996) and In the Name of the Father (1993), both films with a sense of purpose. As Environment Sectretary in the 1990s John Prescott credited Brassed Off as encouraging him to move to regenerate mining communities.

While a consummate actor and dedicated to his profession, Pete Postlethwaite also possessed a sense of purpose that extended to his choice of film projects. Recently he and his wife Jacqueline made their property in Shropshire carbon neutral and took other measures to dramatically reduce their carbon emissions. In The Age of Stupid (2009) Postlethwaite is the only actor while all the other characters play themselves. This film on the topic of climate change was given a public showing in my church and several others and has since spawned the 10:10 campaign. At the launch of The Age of Stupid Postlethwaite famously stated that he would return his OBE if the government gave the go-ahead for an expansion of the coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth. Time maybe to give The Age of Stupid another look?

Meanwhile our thoughts and prayers go out to Jacqueline and her family at this time of loss.