Director Jonathan Demme has died, defeated by cancer at the age of 73. Demme was a scorching director, having helmed a selection of great movies – amongst them Melvin and Howard, Something Wild, Married To The Mob, The Silence of The Lambs and Philadelphia. He was also a wonderful documentary filmmaker, with his best being the Talking Heads film Stop Making Sense. He had a few lesser efforts (The Truth About Charlie, Beloved), but who doesn’t?
Demme, who was born on 22 February 1944, cut his teeth working for Roger Corman before going on to become one of the hot cinematic lights of the 1980s and 1990s. His masterpiece was The Silence of the Lambs (one of the all time greats), the adaptation of Thomas Harris novel. It swept the board at the Oscars on 1992 (winning Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay) and also cleaned up at the box office (scoring almost $273 million globally). Even Ridley Scott couldn’t make a decent follow-up with Hannibal.
Demme movies were always worth your time, they weren’t for the masses, but they managed to get under your skin. Another great filmmaker hs gone.