2 items from 2017
Programmers at Brooklyn’s BAMcinématek had already been planning Jonathan Demme month when news of his death broke, the comprehensive retrospective of one of American cinema’s most influential voices took on new meaning in the wake of his passing — and brought some of his disciples out of the woodwork. These included Paul Thomas Anderson, who moderated a series of conversations throughout the program’s opening weekend.
The series kicked off with the 1986 slapdash comedy and road movie “Something Wild,” and Anderson was on hand to interview the film’s producer Ed Saxon and SXSW founder Louis Black, a longtime friend of the late director. But it was Anderson, who’s currently in post-production on his December release “Phantom Thread,” who naturally consumed the spotlight. “This is so thrilling for me, and nerve-wracking to be here,” he said by way of introduction, calling himself the “master of ceremony for the weekend. »
- Jude Dry
Director Jonathan Demme, who died on Wednesday at age 73, may go down as the most rock-friendly major director of all time. His most famous association was with Talking Heads, thanks to the boon to both their careers that was “Stop Making Sense.” But he also enjoyed long friendships and/or working relationships with everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young to cult bands like The Feelies. And arguably the most peculiar documentary in a filmography full of peculiar documentaries is “Storefront Hitchcock,” a concert film that had the amiably surreal British singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock playing an acoustic gig with his back to a shop window, competing for the viewer’s attention with mostly unaware passersby.
Demme never stopped dragging his favorite people into his movies, so Hitchcock subsequently showed up in “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Rachel Getting Married,” on top of being asked to contribute songs for other films. »
- Chris Willman
2 items from 2017
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