Great director Jonathan Demme has passed away aged 73 after over four decades in the motion picture industry, which not only did Demme win the Best Director Oscar in 1991 for his mesmerising work on Silence of the Lambs, but he also provided great visuals to the music world.
While Demme‘s career started in the early 70s, he left a grand impression on music when the up-and-coming director collaborated with the new wave icons the Talking Heads in 1984 to create the greatest music performance documentary ever, Stop Making Sense.
Demme‘s work was far more radical and ahead of it’s time, especially considered to similar films before, instead of simply planting cameras and allowing the Talking Heads to do their work, he instead orchestrated a performance piece with the band taking shots from several takes to create an overall image that shows the Talking Heads like no other band.
With Stop Making Sense perfectly capturing the spellbinding energy and image of the Talking Heads, several bands quickly reached out to get Demme to direct videos for them. In 1985, New Order approached Jonathan Demme to direct the music video for “The Perfect Kiss” which unlike any of the band’s other videos simply showcases the band preforming in their practice room. Just a few years later in 1988, Demme directed the video for “Away” by underrated post-punk band The Feelies.
After his Academy Award winning work on The Silence of the Lambs in 1991, he would only work on one other other music video in his career, the video for Bruce Springsteen‘s 1995 single “Murder Incorporated”.
In 2005, Demme started his long relationship working with Neil Young after directing his acclaimed documentary Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006), which he then followed up with 2009’s Neil Young: Trunk Show and finally Neil Young: Journeys which ended Demme‘s trilogy on the songwriter.