I heard on the radio that Ryan Larkin has died. Larkin was a gifted artist – a film animator – and tormented man who finally succumbed to brain cancer following years of abuse. I’ve written about Ryan a couple of times before here, and he was a fixture around my community in Montreal for as long as I can remember.
My most poignant memory of Ryan is from Oscar night 2005, when the short film about Larkin won the Award (though I tactfully left this out of my post about that special night). The bar was packed that night, and there were many people from the film world in Montreal as well as a pack of the Copa regulars, who all knew Ryan because he spent time there almost every day. At one point, all of the excitement was clearly upsetting the poor guy, and he walked by a friend of mine that he knew and quietly asked if she could help him get out of there. It was all – the attention, the alcohol flowing so freely, the cheering and the crowd – simply too much. Ryan Larkin was a sensitive, tormented man, and we are all the poorer for his passing.