Burned into the Celluloid

English: Brittany Murphy at the Australian pre...

The other day I was watching (trying to watch) a very bad film with Brittany Murphy as its star. As I often do, I browsed IMDB to find out what she was doing artistically and was stunned to learn she had died in late 2009.

Although I cannot say I am a huge fan of her work, I knew who she was and I have a strange attachment to the song Faster Kill Pussycat with Paul Oakenfold. I also knew she was not very old. It makes me very sad but I have not yet figured out why.

I dug a little further into her death, thinking that perhaps she had succumbed like so many other starlets to drugs or alcohol. According to the reports out there, she died from pneumonia, acute anemia, and as a general result of taking OTC drugs. Just plain sad and unlucky.

Not too long after her death, her husband also died from exactly the same thing (excluding the OTC drugs). There were a few theories, one of which was mould, but nothing concrete enough for strong conclusions to be drawn. Quite bizarre really.

Writing these words reveals a little to me about why I am sad. It is so easy to come in and go out from this world, and unless you are a star with an IMDB page, I would not have even known she was gone.

A fellow anonymous blogger recently disappeared for a few weeks and I was quite concerned about her absence. I started to think about how impossible it would be to know what happened to her if she never came back. I recently read about a suggestion to have a social media death plan. That is, to make sure upon your death that your accounts are handled the way you want them to be handled, not based on the corporation’s policies. I just searched this phrase and there is a Wikipedia page deadicated to Death and the Internet. These are valid questions in today’s world.

Brittany’s artistic contribution was varied, but she did contribute, far more than I have in my 45 years. That is what both terrifies and spurs me to do more. I am not maudlin about this, dear readers, but I am reminded how easy it is to think we always have more time to write that book, or tell that person we love them. Or just to eat more cheese.

April 9 - Quill Writing

April 9 – Quill Writing (Photo credit: Scott Hamlin)

The movie I was watching was about a writer with a Deadline. I could not finish watching, but I did keep thinking and I will clearly keep writing.


3 thoughts on “Burned into the Celluloid

  1. I adore Brittany Murphy. I was sad when I heard about her death. I’ve actually not seen “Deadline”, but most of the films I’ve seen her in I love. Even “Love & Other Disasters”, which a lot of people think is just hokey junk. I love her sense of humor in it and her slightly awkward boyish way of walking in high heels.

    You bring up a good point about notifying online communities if something were to happen. Especially being that we hang out in the mental-health sector of the community. It’s hard to know how to handle it since my (and a lot of this community’s) blog is anonymous. There are entries I don’t think I’d want friends or family to know about.

    But I wouldn’t want my lovely blog friends wondering and worrying either.

    It’s a conundrum.

    • True on both counts. And I should have said more clearly..I also liked her quirky approach. Little Black Book…and Don’t Say a Word for example. Sad to not see what else she could have done.

  2. Other than blogging I do not understand social media. However I would wonder if you disappeared. Do you not think society is moving in a strange direction if we are considering a plan to notify our internet “friends” if something were to happen us? Are they replacing real contact? Are we more isolated than ever before? Or does the fact we can blog like this actually help keep us well.

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