The great TINA TURNER is gone. She died today, aged 83, at her home in Switzerland.
Any biography I write here would be inadequate, but I nevertheless feel compelled to describe her particular brand of magic. It was far more than just her voice and stage presence.
Turner famously struggled for years through an abusive relationship and financial troubles. She nevertheless projected the kind of dignified strength, soulful and spirited, that could only come from someone who knew what such hardship was. To hear her sing, you could sense it was an act of defiance against her past pain, while carrying wisdom and perseverance from surviving it.
Turner’s passing hurts. Regarding the documentary, I had made several attempts over the years to get some commentary from her about Richard Amsel’s artwork. MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME was, after all, the artist’s last completed movie poster, and his portrait of Turner demonstrated Richard Amsel at the height of his creative powers. (I mean, just look at how he drew her hair!)
It’s a harsh notion for me to accept that, with the passing of years, a day will come when the last subject of an Amsel portrait has died. I’ve spent years trying to get as many testimonials as possible, but some, alas, just are not to be. It breaks my heart.
Turner’s work will live on, no doubt, through recordings, albums, and films. But that she’s featured so prominently in what was, perhaps, Amsel’s most accomplished poster, truly makes Tina Turner a vision for the ages.
Here is a motion graphic we did of the poster, for inclusion in the film:
Here are some of Amsel’s sketches and unused comps for MAD MAX: BEYONF THUNDERDOME.