When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died Feb. 2 from an apparent heroin overdose, members of Hollywood came out in droves to show their remorse and praise the late actor.
On Tuesday, IU paid tribute to Hoffman in its own way with a 24-hour film tribute at the IU Cinema, featuring a collection of films in which he starred.
Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema, said his initial reaction to the actor’s passing was sadness. If the cinema was going to do something to honor the late actor, Vickers wanted to do something big.
With financial backing from friends of the cinema and quick planning, Vickers said the retrospective went from a possibility to a reality.
“Many of our patrons are viewing this as an event, dedicating as much time to the cinema as they can,” he said. “Seeing more than one film in a row also allows our audience to see the great range that he had as an actor.”
Vickers said while Hoffman’s death is a major loss to the film community, the cinema’s event should serve as more of a celebration of his contributions to film.
“I think that this event allows everyone to focus on his performances – whether leading roles or minor characters – and see what a fine actor he was,” he said. “Though thoroughly dedicated to his craft, he made it all seem effortless.”
The event started with the 2010 film “Jack Goes Boating,” which Hoffman directed and starred in. Other films shown Tuesday included “The Savages,” “The Master” and
“Mission: Impossible III.”
Bloomington resident Maggie Rossman came out early to see “Jack Goes Boating” for the first time.
“It’s a double whammy,” Rossman said. “To get to see him act and what the film’s like that he directed.”
Rossman said she came to the tribute to commemorate Hoffman and be a part of the celebration of his life. She said she only wished she could camp out at the cinema to see all of Hoffman’s films.
Junior Michael Goldenberg said he was a big Philip Seymour Hoffman fan and was saddened by Hoffman’s death. Goldenberg said he took the IU Cinema event as an opportunity to see some of the actor’s less prominent work.
“Not only was he great at portraying complex, layered characters, but he contributed to the scene just by being there or being in the moment,” he said.
One of Hoffman’s most notable films, screening at 2:15 p.m. today, is “Capote.”
Hoffman played the highly acclaimed and controversial author Truman Capote. In 2006 Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.
Reid Ralston, a sophomore at IU, said seeing Hoffman as Capote sold him on the actor’s brilliance and talent.
“It’s so spot on, his portrayal,” Ralston said. “It’s one of those performances where you just feel the character.”
The 12-film tribute concludes today with the screening of “Owning Mahowny.” While Rossman said it’s a joy to experience Hoffman’s memorable roles all over again, the humanity and familiarity he brought to his characters will be missed.
“He’s made almost every role memorable,” she said. “He’s left us with a lot of work, but there was a lot of work to give.”
Follow reporter Carolyn Crowcroft on Twitter @carol_crowcroft.
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