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With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
All These Sleepless Nights (Michal Marczak)
Blurring the line between documentary and fiction like few films before it, Michal Marczak‘s All These Sleepless Nights is a music-filled ode to the ever-shifting bliss and angst of youth set mostly in the wee hours of the day in Warsaw, Poland. Marczak himself, who also plays cinematographer, is wary to delineate the line between narrative and nonfiction, and part of the »
- Jordan Raup
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
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This August will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Tuesday, August 1
Tuesday’s Short + Feature: These Boots and Mystery Train
Music is at the heart of this program, which pairs a zany music video by Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki with a tune-filled career highlight from American independent-film pioneer Jim Jarmusch. In the 1993 These Boots, Kaurismäki’s band of pompadoured “Finnish Elvis” rockers, the Leningrad Cowboys, cover a Nancy Sinatra classic in their signature deadpan style. It’s the perfect prelude to Jarmusch’s 1989 Mystery Train, a homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and the musical legacy of Memphis, featuring appearances by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Joe Strummer. »
- Ryan Gallagher
“You were right. I’m a rebel. I am! I just channeled my rebellion into the mainstream.”
Director Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild (1986) more than lives up to its title. This rolicking, road trip melodrama about coincidences and happenstances features a slippery-fingered bohemian babe, a staid businessman, and a psychotic criminal on the lam. Charlie Driggs (Jeff Daniels) neglects to pay his bill one day, and a complete stranger, Lulu (Melanie Griffith) confronts him about it outside of the restaurant. Afterward, Lulu takes the hopelessly conventional Charlie on a wild ride that concludes with her handcuffing him to a bed in a sleazy motel and tearing off his clothes. Impulse prompts them to careen off with Charlie still wearing the cuffs. »
- Tom Stockman
“I wanna introduce the band by name!”
Stop Making Sense (1984) is an action-packed concert film… not in the sense of leaping towers of pyrotechnics… but in the way of seeing David Byrne falling back, standing up, shoving lamps, and running around risers, while musicians emerge song-by-song and various backgrounds come and go. Everything is in perfect place for this concert film directed by Jonathan Demme –and, even better, it’s nonstop. There are no minute-long, audience-panning breaks; if one song ends, the next one’s almost there. And, of course, there’s the music. See this one at Webster U and you’ll be treated to some wonderful tracks -from a spastic, minor-keyed “Psycho Killer” to a somehow strangely touching, »
- Tom Stockman
“No one seems to love or understand me. Oh what hard luck stories they all hand me”
Paul Le Mat is an average Joe named Melvin E. Dummar in Melvin And Howard (1980) an effective combination of drama and comedy from director Jonathan Demme. Melvin often finds it difficult to make ends meet, no matter what line of work he’s in. Then, one day, it seems as if his luck might change. A stranger leaves on his desk a will proclaiming Melvin to be one of 16 heirs to the fortune of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. Once upon a time, Melvin had given a lift to an aged, decrepit looking individual (Jason Robards) who claimed to be Hughes. The »
- Tom Stockman
Stars: Jason Biggs, Janet Montgomery, Ashley Tisdale, Bria L. Murphy, Jenny Mollen, Steven Weber, Adrian Voo, Robert Hoffman, Rusty Joiner, Cedric Yarbrough | Written and Directed by Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse
Guy Carter is an award-winning graduate student of architecture. He’s got a beautiful wife and a baby on the way. The problem? He doesn’t have “his ducks in a row,” which only fuels his doubts about being a good father. Guy has been trying to find work in his field for a year with no luck. At wit’s end, his wife Anne finds him a job as a ‘driver’ on Craigslist. Guy shows up for the interview thinking he’ll be delivering pizzas, but quickly realizes it’s a job driving prostitutes. With money too scarce to turn down, he goes for it- which is where he meets Nikki, the tough-as-nails, unapologetic sex worker, and her two hilarious and foul-mouthed cohorts, »
- Phil Wheat
A band of beauty shop desperadoes cartoonishly plunder their way from California to Arkansas to reclaim the old family farm in the 1975 hillbilly masterpiece Crazy Mama directed by Jonathan Demme and produced by Roger Corman, who made a whole series of these backwoods desperadoes flicks in the ’70s.
Cloris Leachman stars as Melba Stokes, who runs a beauty parlor in Long Beach, California with her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) and her daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl). When the shop is repossessed by banker Jim Backus (aka Thurston Howell III in a great little cameo) Melba and the ladies head back to Arkansas and the family farm which was stolen away from them when shea was a girl. Along for the ride is Cheryl’s boyfriend, »
- Tom Stockman
“Even for criminals you’re just a particularly poor reflection on womanhood.”
Who doesn’t love a good Women’s prison film? – Chained Heat, Hellhole, Ilsa She Wolf Of The SS, The Big Bird Cage, The Big Doll House, Reform School Girls, and The Concrete Jungle all sit proudly on my Wip (Women in Prison) DVD shelf. One of the very best of this beloved subgenre is Caged Heat (1974), a wonderful exploitation masterpiece and the directing debut of Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme, that has everything you could possibly hope for in a Women-In-Prison movie: nudity, shower catfights, lesbian coupling, race wars, murder, chain-swinging, switch-blade slashing, and shock therapy!
- Tom Stockman
Chicago – The impact that director Jonathan Demme had on the last couple generations of cinema will live beyond his passing last week, at the age of 73. The Oscar-winning filmmaker also made an impact with the film writers of HollywoodChicago.com – Jon Espino, Patrick McDonald and Spike Walters.
Photo credit: 20 Century Fox Home Entertainment
The director was described as “the last of the great humanists” in the HollywoodChicago.com obituary, and followed through on that description with an incredible run of films in the 1980s and ‘90s, which included “Melvin and Howard” (1980), “Something Wild” (1986), “Swimming to Cambodia” (1987), “Married to the Mob” (1988), “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and “Philadelphia” (1993). He also created one of the greatest rock documentaries ever, “Stop Making Sense” (1984, featuring the Talking Heads) and worked extensively with Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young on other rock docs. He »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
We’re all still reeling from the death of Jonathan Demme, one of the most unpredictable, open-hearted and by all accounts best loved of American filmmakers. I was surprised to learn that he was 73 when he died because he, and his films, always seemed so youthful. The fact that his swansong was the beautifully exuberant Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids only added to that impression of vitality.Many of the posters for Demme’s films are as well known as the films themselves: the Dali-esque death’s head moth for Silence of the Lambs; the cutout of Spalding Gray’s head bobbing in a flat plane of blue for Swimming to Cambodia; an upside-down Jeff Daniels on Something Wild; Pablo Ferro’s Strangelove-esque titles over the Big Suit for Stop Making Sense. And of his later films I particularly like the screen-print look of Man From Plains. But the posters for Demme’s early films, »
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
Most great directors have their quirky trademarks, but few are as esoteric as “A Luta Continua,” the Portuguese-language political slogan that appears at the very end of the credits of four movies directed by the late Jonathan Demme: Something Wild, Married To The Mob, Silence Of The Lambs, and Philadelphia. To the few who sit all the way through the credits, the phrase probably looks like little more than behind-the-scenes gobbledygook, right up there with the International Alliance Of Theatrical Stage Employees labor union logo, the legal disclaimers, and the MPAA registration. And even that tiny minority of viewers that recognizes the reference would be baffled, because “A Luta Continua” (“The Struggle Continues”) was the slogan of the independence movement in Mozambique. What’s it doing in the end credits of a bunch of American movies? And what’s that little figure next to it?
“A Luta Continua” at »
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
New York City – He was the helmsman of “The Silence of the Lambs,” which won him Best Director and took home Best Picture at the 1992 Academy Awards, and made numerous other late 20th Century movie classics. Director Jonathan Demme died in New York City on April 26, 2017, at the age of 73.
Film writer Dave Kehr called Demme “the last of the great humanists,” and the director followed through on that description with an incredible run of films in the 1980s and ‘90s, which included “Melvin and Howard” (1980), “Something Wild” (1986), “Swimming to Cambodia” (1987), “Married to the Mob” (1988), “Lambs” (1991) and “Philadelphia” (1993). He also created one of the greatest rock documentaries ever, “Stop Making Sense” (1984, featuring the Talking Heads) and worked extensively with Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young on other rock docs. He even directed an episode of the TV classic “Columbo” in 1978, among his other TV achievements.
Director Jonathan Demme on the Set »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can typically be found at the end of this post.) This week, however, in light of Jonathan Demme’s death — and in reaction to the immense outpouring of love for the man and his movies that followed the news of his passing — we’ve decided to switch things up with a special mid-week edition of our usual survey.
We asked our panel one simple question: How will you remember Jonathan Demme? The responses we received can be found below.
Mallory Andrews (@mallory_andrews) cléo
Though I only saw “Something Wild” for the first time this month, it somehow feels like it’s been with me for my entire filmgoing life. The scene where (my ideal man »
- David Ehrlich
Jonathan Demme, the personable film director who graduated from making "B" movies for Roger Corman to the highest ranks of Hollywood filmmakers, has died from cancer at age 73. His remarkable career covered an impressively diverse number of films ranging from documentaries to comedies and thrillers. He won the Oscar for Best Director for his 1991 film "The Silence of the Lambs". His other credits include "Stop Making Sense", "Melvin and Howard", "Philadelphia", "Crazy Mama", "Handle with Care", "Last Embrace", "Something Wild", "Swimming to Cambodia", "Beloved" and the 2004 remake of "The Manchurian Candidate". For more click here. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
The Talking Heads lead singer and guitarist recounted his experiences with Demme filming the footage that would eventually be turned into “Stop Making Sense,” a now-iconic concert doc shot at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre. Byrne highlighted how Demme was able to think of the movie as a “theatrical ensemble piece” and reflected on his ability to make the band feel included.
“Jonathan was also incredibly generous during the editing and mixing,” he said. “That inclusion was hugely inspirational for me. Though I had directed music videos before, this mentoring of Jonathan’s emboldened me to try making a feature film.”
- Erin Nyren
The late filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who died last night at the age of 73, will always be linked to Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. The two likeminded artists first worked together on the 1984 classic “Stop Making Sense,” a concert documentary that Byrne hired Demme to direct, and that collaboration forever transformed what the world thinks possible of such performance-driven films. More than that, the experience sparked a lifelong friendship, one that extended into several other projects and irrevocably deepened the relationship between music and movies.
This afternoon, Byrne wrote a loving remembrance of Demme on his website. We have reposted the full text of Byrne’s letter below.
My friend, the director Jonathan Demme, passed last night.
I met Jonathan in the ‘80s when Talking Heads were touring a show that he would eventually »
- David Ehrlich
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
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