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The great filmmakers who came to prominence in the 1970s — and Jonathan Demme, who died Wednesday, was one of them — had stylistic traits that made them iconically identifiable. Robert Altman had his multi-character hubbub, Martin Scorsese had his volcanic rock ‘n’ roll virtuosity, and Francis Ford Coppola had his lavishly scaled operatic grandeur. But Demme, vivid and stirring as his filmmaking voice was, had no such obvious signature. You could almost say that he was defined by his lack of signature.
What defined a Demme film was the open-eyed flow of its humanity, the way his camera drank in everyone on screen — it didn’t matter whether the character was a goofy truck driver, a derelict billionaire, the troubled wife of a mobster, a new wave rock ‘n’ roller, or a serial killer — and took the full measure of their life and spirit. For Demme, the magic of movies resided »
- Owen Gleiberman
Jonathan Demme’s love of rock ‘n roll and an uncanny ability to capture the spirit of individual artists has been evident throughout his career. He revolutionized the concert film, used soundtracks to drive his films, and turned non-musical stars into performers.
Here’s ten videos that capture just one side of this amazing artist’s brilliance.
“Pyscho Killer,” Talking Heads
Arguably, the greatest and most important concert film of all-time, “Stop Making Sense” not only showcases the uniqueness of the Talking Heads, but their theatricality, invention and sense of cinema – referencing a number of classic films. The introduction to the movie is a pure Demme and David Byrne creation, with a gentle nod to “Dr. Strangelove.”
The Big Suit in “Girlfriend is Better,” Talking Heads
- Chris O'Falt
Jonathan Demme, dead of cancer at 73. It's hard to take in those words.
Or to stop feeling the gut punch of his loss. High praise will flow, deservedly, about Demme's virtuosity as a filmmaker; about the Oscars he won for The Silence of the Lambs; about his concert films, from Stop Making Sense to Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids, that brought audiences closer than ever before to the sweaty intimacy and creative pulse of music. His influence is everywhere. Paul Thomas Anderson was once asked for a list of the »
Director Jonathan Demme, who won an Oscar for directing the 1991 Best Picture winner The Silence of the Lambs, has passed away earlier this morning at the age of 74. According to a source close to the family, the filmmaker passed from esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. The filmmaker had been treated for esophageal cancer in 2010, and while he did recover, the cancer came back in 2015, and sources said his condition had deteriorated in recent weeks. We have assembled a number of tweets below from filmmakers and actors paying their respects to this iconic director.
IndieWire first broke the news this morning, as tributes have started to flood in from filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, James Wan and actors such as Denis Leary, Michael Chiklis and many more. Jonathan Demme was born February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Nassau County, New York to Dorothy Louise (Rogers) and Robert Eugene Demme, a public relations executive. »
The film community is mourning the loss of Jonathan Demme. Over the last four decades, he turned in one of the most varied filmographies of any director in Hollywood, constantly reinventing himself behind each comedy, documentary, drama, and TV show. Demme never made the same movie twice, and cinema was all the better for it.
As tributes continue to come in from collaborators and fans, here’s IndieWire’s own appreciation of Demme and why we’ll remember him as one of the truly great filmmakers of our time.
Demme Defied Categorization
Jonathan Demme had such a remarkable range that he defied easy categorization. Even as he made beloved documentaries and Oscar-winning movies, I still get the sense that his career was underappreciated. Everyone knows “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia,” and “Stop Making Sense,” but less »
- Indiewire Staff
The Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme died at age 73. “Melvin and Howard” (1980) Demme made his directorial debut on the 1974 Roger Corman flick “Caged Heat” but he really emerged with this road trip drama about a man claiming to be Howard Hughes’ heir. The film won two Oscars, for Bo Goldman’s script and Mary Steenburgen’s supporting performance. “Stop Making Sense” (1984) Demme made some of the finest music concert films in the modern era, including this gem of the ’80s legends the Talking Heads. “Something Wild” (1986) Melanie Griffith charms as a free spirit who “kidnaps” Jeff Daniels’ uptight yuppie. “Swimming to Cambodia” (1987) Demme continued. »
- Thom Geier
The Tribeca Film Festival has long boasted hot-ticket events under their “Tribeca Talks” banner, and last night’s hour-long discussion between filmmaker Noah Baumbach and his newly-minted star Dustin Hoffman (who leads the star-studded cast of Baumbach’s next film, the Cannes competitor “The Meyerowitz Stories”) was another insightful entry into one of their best series.
The pair took the stage at New York City’s own Bmcc Tribeca Performing Arts Center to chat about Baumbach’s life and work, and the surprising ways in which he’s changed and evolved as a filmmaker during his two-decade-long career. Her are the best bits (not including a small, but hilarious aside about how Baumbach initially bonded with fellow filmmaker Wes Anderson because they had the same notebook, the kind of detail even those two couldn’t make up).
- Kate Erbland
Thunderbird Releasing has added Benedict Andrews’ “Una” and Martin Koolhoven’s “Brimstone” (pictured) to its U.K. distribution slate. Both films saw their U.K. premieres at the 2016 London Film Festival and are scheduled for release in September this year.
“We’re thrilled to add two intelligent and entertaining female-driven titles to our slate,” said Thunderbird managing director Edward Fletcher. “We’ve had great early exhibitor interest and, with the support of all the talent involved, look forward to delivering engaging U.K. campaigns.”
“Una,” based on Scottish playwright David Harrower’s award-winning play “Blackbird,” stars Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn in the roles played by Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels in last year’s Broadway revival of the work. Also starring Riz Ahmed, the film focuses on the fraught and emotionally devastating ramifications following a young woman’s attempt to track down a man from her past, which unearths long-buried secrets. »
- Robert Mitchell
The main goal of a pilot episode to any show is to keep the audience wanting to come back. It’s to make viewers realize that this is a show to be reckoned with. In essence, a pilot show is your elevator pitch to the world. And I honestly believe that in the history of television no show had a better elevator pitch than The Newsroom. Jeff Daniels’ three minute rant on why America is not the greatest country in the world remains, to this day, my favorite three minutes from any pilot episode of any show ever. Brilliantly written by
The Newsroom Pilot Speech is Still the Best Three Minutes of Television Intro History »
- Nat Berman
Earlier today, we reportedly the sad news that Hollywood has lost another legend, with comedian Don Rickles passing away at the age of 90. His publicist confirmed that the iconic insult comic passed in his Los Angeles home, from kidney failure. As word of his passing spread, Hollywood icons left and right paid tribute to the late comedian through social media, to honor this late legend.
While most sent out their tributes through Twitter, others released lengthier tributes elsewhere. Rolling Stone caught up with Gilbert Gottfried, who summed up the the late comedian's legacy with a heartfelt statement that explained why Rickles will go down in history as one of the best comedians ever. Here's what Gilbert Gottfried had to say.
"Don Rickles was never politically correct, and he would never apologize for any of it. He was totally unapologetic about his comedy. So I admired that and looked at him »
Turn on the sirens: CBS has picked up the docuseries Ambulance.
RelatedNCIS and 24 Others Get Finale Dates at CBS — Which Might Be Series Finales?
The one-hour reality show — based on a UK format — chronicles the intense world of emergency medical workers and 911 dispatchers as they make split-second decisions during life-threatening emergencies.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
* Tyler Labine (Reaper) will co-star in the CBS comedy pilot Hannah Royce’s Questionable Choices as the first husband of Hannah (played by Alice Eve) and the father of her eldest child, our sister site Deadline reports.
RelatedPilot Season ’17: »
Wrenn Schmidt (Outcast) is set as a female lead opposite Peter Sarsgaard, Jeff Daniels and Tahar Rahim in Hulu's straight-to-series drama The Looming Tower. Based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning 9/11 exposé, the series hails from Oscar-nominated Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher), Oscar- and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Going Clear) and Legendary Television. Also cast in the project is Ella Rae Peck (Gossip Girl). The Looming Tower traces the rising… »
Warning: The following contains spoilers for The Mindy Project’s Season 5 finale.
The Mindy Project wrapped its fifth season Tuesday with an episode that found Dr. Lahiri (again) making a decision she’ll likely come to regret about a(nother) guy who has become important(ish) in her life but who will (likely) be gone by the next time her Bff Peter rolls into town. If all of this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s ground the Hulu comedy has covered so many times since its debut. And it leaves this former fan with a sad question:
Exqueeze me, »
John Cho has signed on to play a key recurring role in Season 3 of the Hulu comedy, the network announced Wednesday. Cho will appear in multiple episodes as Todd, an advertising executive who’s every bit as mean and twisted as Billy (Eichner) and Julie (Julie Klausner). In fact, Todd and Billy meet while one-upping each other in a prank war; they soon couple up, as Billy explores his first romantic relationship as an adult. (Well, “adult.”)
Allure of small screen tempts latest batch of film stars.
Colin Farrell will play Oliver North and reunite with Yorgos Lanthimos for Amazon Studios, while Penelope Cruz will star as Donatella Versace in FX’s American Crime Story anthology, and Peter Sarsgaard is cast as a CIA staffer in Hulu’s The Looming Tower.
The project recounts the story of the National Security Council staff member involved in the illegal sale of weapons to Iran to encourage the release of Us hostages in Lebanon in the 1980s.
Farrell starred in the second season of HBO’s True Detective and is best known for a film »
Shut Eye will remain open at Hulu, although the drama is setting its sights on a new boss.
The streamer has renewed the Jeffrey Donovan-KaDee Strickland drama for a second 10-episode season amid word that showrunner David Hudgins has exited the series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Shiban (Hell on Wheels) has been brought in to replace him.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets? Well…
The 10-episode drama, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning expose by Lawrence Wright on the in-fighting between the FBI and CIA in the years leading up to 9/11, was ordered to series in September by the streaming service. It traces the rising threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, and takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and FBI may have inadvertently set the stage for the tragedy of 9/11 and the war in Iraq.
Sarsgaard will play Martin Schmidt, a CIA analyst who invariably believes he’s by far the smartest person in the room. Under orders to share intelligence with John O’Neill (Daniels) and the FBI, Schmidt opts instead to horde information under the misguided notion that the CIA is the only agency equipped to battle potential terrorist threats. He »
- Oriana Schwindt
Peter Sarsgaard (Jackie) is set for a lead role opposite Jeff Daniels and Tahar Rahim in Hulu's straight-to-series drama based on Lawrence Wright's Pulitzer Prize-winning 9/11 exposé, from Oscar-nominated Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher), Oscar- and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Going Clear) and Legendary Television. The Looming Tower traces the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda and takes a controversial look at how the rivalry between the CIA and… »
Kirsten Howard Mar 31, 2017
From The Shining to I Origins, these are just some of the worst offenders when it comes to moving between floors...
This article contains spoilers for just about every film on its list.
I don’t know when it started exactly.
When I was very young, it was fine. I maybe even enjoyed getting on an elevator and being whisked off, but somewhere in the timeline of my life, something changed. I began to dread stepping onto one. My heart would pound, a cold sweat would creep down my neck and my breath would quicken.
“What’s wrong?” a bemused acquaintance would ask as we were about to embark.
“Oh! Nothing, really,” I’d respond as casually as I could for someone suddenly about to lose control of their bowels. “I just thought I might take the stairs. Bit of exercise, you know.”
“But it…it’s 18 flights, »
Hulu is on the hunt for a Chief Content Officer, TheWrap has learned. The position, reporting directly to CEO Mike Hopkins, will oversee original programming and content acquisitions, as well as devise a content strategy for the company at large. Current content lead Craig Erwich will remain in his Senior Vice President title, and focus more on creative development and original production. Also Read: Jeff Daniels to Lead Hulu's New 9/11 Drama 'The Looming Tower' Erwich will assist in the search for the C-suite position, and lead the team until one is found. In addition to a mandate »
- Matt Donnelly
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