Film & Video
2 min

Richard Glatzer’s legacy of film and friendship

Daily Xtra looks back at his memorable films and ‘indomitable spirit’

On March 10, 2015, gay filmmaker Richard Glatzer died after a battle with ALS. In the above interview with Daily Xtra, film journalist Peter Knegt discusses the life and career Glatzer built with his partner, Wash Westmoreland. They worked on a series of indie films together, including The Fluffer, Quinceañera, Pedro, The Last of Robin Hood and Still Alice.

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Richard Glatzer died on March 10, 2015, just days after actress Julianne Moore won a best actress Oscar for her role in the film Still Alice, directed by Glatzer and his husband Wash Westmoreland. In our video here, film journalist Peter Knegt speaks to the importance of Glatzer’s queer film legacy and his unique filmmaking partnership with Westmoreland. In the text below, Jeremy Podeswa, our former film columnist, and Glatzer’s friend and fellow director, shares why Glatzer’s legacy is a generous and creative life.

— David Walberg

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A few words about Richard Glatzer. Richard’s films (most co-directed with his husband Wash Westmoreland) were funny, astute, political, transgressive and, in the end, heartbreaking.  

Richard had a love of cinema, of people, of “society,” of social interaction. He loved his life, his partner, his friends, his family and his work. And he loved dancing. And playing bridge. He was opinionated and clever and incisive, with a keen, critical mind, and together with Wash he created a world around themselves that was, and still is, populated by singular, creative and loving people from all walks of life.  

The outpouring of love and admiration that has been expressed, online and in heartfelt conversations across the globe in the last days and weeks, speaks to the impact Richard had on so many people’s lives and also to the sense of community that he and Wash created through their work and their life together.  

When Richard became ill, he first lost his ability to speak . . . an incredibly sad thing for someone so warm, articulate and funny for whom communication was so vital. As he lost more over the months and years, his challenges increased. But his essence — wry, sharp, engaged — was ever present. He continued to work and to create with Wash through it all.  

Making Still Alice seemed an act of pure, generous will; a way to express what only he and Wash in that moment could truly express, and to share that with the world.  

In the last months, Richard seemed indomitable. And his spirit is indomitable. He leaves a legacy of beautiful, meaningful work and of thousands of lives touched and moved and made better by his presence.