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Michael Chabon

Curtis Hanson, a filmmaker and a film scholar, brought an openness to his work

Curtis Hanson, a filmmaker and a film scholar, brought an openness to his work

I met Curtis Hanson through a mutual friend some 25 years ago, before his major successes like the Oscar-winning "L.A. Confidential.” He lived on one of those walking streets in Venice, to be near the ocean he loved, and it was his physical presence, the light in his eye and his nimble physical grace, that struck me first.

More than that, Hanson — who died Tuesday at age 71 — had a gracious, open quality that is precious in any business, but especially so in Hollywood. I would run into him sporadically over the years, and he was always alive to the moment, asking how things were with the innate decency that must have served him well as a director. And he was...

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