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Camden New Journal - by DAN CARRIER
Published: 20 March 2008

Anthony Minghella with Camden Town Sainsbury’s worker Jane Havell who featured in the 2006 film Breaking and Entering after being asked by the director when he visited the store during filming
A cut above: Warm tributes for film director Minghella

TRIBUTES to the Hampstead Oscar-winning film director Anthony Minghella have flooded in following his unexpected death this week.
Minghella, 54, died following an operation at Charing Cross Hospital on Tuesday. He moved to Hampstead over 20 years ago, and, as well as having a home in South Hill Park, had set up his film production offices in the unlikely setting of a converted church in Fleet Road, Gospel Oak.
Josh Yudkin, who lives in Tufnell Park, worked with the director as a location manager in the the film Breaking and Entering, which starred Jude Law and Juliet Binoche. He recalled how Minghella’s charm shone through and helped smooth the way to shoot a major film in the heart of Camden Town with almost no disruption.
Minghella’s film The English Patient scooped nine Oscars and won him best director, while he also enjoyed success with Cold Mountain. The BBC are due to screen his TV version of the Alexander McCall Smith African crime stories The Number One Ladies Detective Agency, this Easter.
And Josh recalled how Minghella would talk about his children with real pride – and rush home at the end of the day to see his wife.
He said: “He was such a family orientated man – he loved his wife and children.”
Minghella gave work to people who lived locally whenever he could, and his inherent friendliness meant his offices in Fleet Road were known to be welcoming – and the venue for long, Italian-style lunches instigated by the director.
Josh, who worked in the office while they were putting together the final cut of Breaking and Entering, said Minghella would foster a team atmosphere.
“He would insist people sat down together each day to eat lunch – big communal mealtimes were important to him,” said Josh.
And his lack of pretentions rubbed off on his cast. One scene in the film required the two lead characters played by Jude Law and Juliet Binoche to have a heart to heart at the top of Primrose Hill.
Josh recalls: “Instead of asking if we could close the park, he just walked to the top of the hill with the actors and some cameras and started shooting. People were sitting on the grass in the background and there was such a lack of fuss about it, people did not realise what was going on in front of them.”
South End Green estate agent Jonathan Bergman sold Minghella his first home in South Hill Park and helped him move more recently.
He said: “I remember him with a lot of affection. He was a good neighbour. His success did not matter. He respected others. We’ll all miss him a lot.”

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