Jonathan Demme, ‘Silence of the Lambs’ Director, Dead At 73

NEW YORK (AP) — Jonathan Demme, the eclectic, ever-enthusiastic filmmaker behind the Oscar winners “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” and the director of one of the seminal live performance movies ever made, the Speaking Heads’ “Cease Making Sense,” has died. He was seventy three.

Demme’s publicist, Annalee Paulo, stated Demme died Wednesday morning in his New York condo, surrounded by his spouse, Joanna, and three youngsters. Demme died from problems from esophageal most cancers, she stated.

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Demme broke into moviemaking beneath the B-film grasp Roger Corman within the early Nineteen Seventies. “The Silence of the Lambs,” the 1991 thriller starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter and Jodie Foster as an FBI analyst, introduced him a brand new degree of fame. The movie earned him a directing Oscar, in addition to greatest image. Hopkins and Foster additionally earned greatest appearing trophies for his or her roles.

“The Silence of the Lambs,” nevertheless, was an outlier in his filmography, which was scattered throughout comedy, drama and music. His screwball comedy “One thing Wild” starred Jeff Bridges and Melanie Griffith. “Philadelphia,” with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, was one of many first main Hollywood movies to confront the AIDS disaster.

Demme final yr launched his newest live performance movie, “Justin Timberlake and the Tennessee Youngsters,” on Netflix. Timberlake, a passionate fan of “Cease Making Sense,” sought out Demme to direct it.

“I’ve come to consider, and I type of felt this once we did ‘Cease Making Sense,’ that capturing stay music is type of just like the purest type of filmmaking,” Demme informed The Related Press. “There’s no script to fret about. It’s not a documentary, so that you don’t should marvel the place this story goes and what we will use. It’s simply: Right here come the musicians. Right here come the dancers. The curtain goes up. They’ve at it and we get to reply in one of the simplest ways potential to what they’re doing up there.”

Demme made quite a few movies with Neil Younger (“Coronary heart of Gold,” ”Neil Younger Trunk Present,” ”Neil Younger Journeys”) in addition to a documentary of Spalding Gray’s monologues (“Swimming in Cambodia”) and a movie with the singer-songwriter Robin Hitchcock (“Storefront Hitchcock”)

“Jonathan was a born film-maker: He beloved individuals and he liked filming them. Fictional or precise, he caught so many lives and glimpses of lives and framed them for others to take pleasure in,” stated Hitchcock. “Jonathan was a…

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