Published: Sun, April 30, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Lena Vasquez

Jodie Foster & Tom Hanks offer tributes to beloved director Jonathan Demme

Jodie Foster & Tom Hanks offer tributes to beloved director Jonathan Demme

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 most seminal concert films ever made, the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense", has died.

This is the rare thriller classic that was justly acclaimed in its own time, winning Oscars for Best Picture, Director and its two remarkable leads: Jodie Foster as country-reared Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Clarice Starling and Anthony Hopkins as erudite cannibal Hannibal Lecter.

"I am heart-broken to lose a friend, a mentor, a guy so singular and dynamic you'd have to design a hurricane to contain him", the 54-year-old actress/director writes. He was pure energy, the unstoppable cheerleader for anyone creative.

Demme also made the very smart choice to make this film more than just a typical serial killer/cop thriller. I could hold forth about how he gave Melanie Griffith, Jodie Foster, Oprah Winfrey and Anne Hathaway their most challenging parts, respectively in Something Wild, Lambs, Beloved, and Rachel Getting Married. "Love that guy. Love him so much".

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In her review of the film, Janet Maslin of The New York Times took note of the melange of Demme's film-making eccentricities - not just the music, but the details of costume and language and performance that are all pitched to a particular note of fond, giggly amusement. Timberlake, a passionate fan of 1984's "Stop Making Sense", sought out Demme to direct it.

Demme's music video work included the video for Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia", and Bruce's 1995 clip for "Murder Incorporated".

Byrne said he was originally drawn to Demme for the way he'd "slip a reggae artist's song or a Haitian recording into a narrative film in ways that were often joyous and unexpected". In the latter, an HIV-positive white-shoe attorney unfairly dismissed from his firm persuades a homophobic African-American lawyer to represent him after both men recognize that the intolerance of others has not let them be fully seen. "I miss you, buddy".

The Oscar-winning filmmaker's last movie was a documentary about the singer, entitled Justin Timberlake And The Tennessee Kids.

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Annalee Paulo, Demme's publicist, stated that the acclaimed director passed away in his apartment in NY. You, master of humanity.

Demme, who was previously married to director-producer Evelyn Purcell, is survived by second wife Joanne Howard and their three children: Ramona, Brooklyn and Jos.

Demme passed away in NY surrounded by his family after a battle with cancer, his publicist announced. "I loved #JonathanDemme! He was my bridge to the Talking Heads, Harris & Hannibal, New Order and honest cinematic storytelling".

ULABY: Soon Demme had earned a reputation for making surprisingly thoughtful lightweight comedies, including "Something Wild" and "Married To The Mob". "I love you." - actress Christine Lahti via Twitter.

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