This is the third time Dean’s birthday is celebrated on Film Flare – not a year goes by without it! Here are some of my favorite photos and gifs of Jimmy. Some are well-known, others not so much; some are heartwarming, others mouthwatering, while others are pretty funny. There’s also a very beautiful letter about him, in the end, written by Stewart Stern – writer of Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean’s most famous movie. I hope this reminds you of why we still adore him.
“A star goes wild in the places beyond air — a dark star born of coldness and invisible. It hits the upper edges of our atmosphere and look! It is seen! It flames and arcs and dazzles. It goes out in ash and memory. But its after-image remains in our eyes to be looked at again and again. For it was rare. And it was beautiful. And we thank God and nature for sending it in front of our eyes.
So few things blaze. So little is beautiful. Our world doesn’t seem equipped to contain its brilliance too long. Ecstasy is only recognizable when one has experienced pain. Beauty only exists when set against ugliness. Peace is not appreciated without war ahead of it. How we wish that life could support only the good. But it vanishes when its opposite no longer exists as a setting. It is a white marble on unmelting snow. And Jimmy stands clear and unique in a world where much is synthetic and dishonest and drab. He came and rearranged our molecules. “
Stewart Stern, in a letter to James Dean’s family following his death