This is in the category of “not fair.” Jonathan Demme has died at age 73 from what seems to be esophageal cancer. Demme was among the loveliest people you could know or meet, a great gentleman, forever young in spirit, and a HUGE talent. He won the Oscar for “Silence of the Lambs,” but his credits go far beyond that movie. Demme moved easily back and forth between stunning narrative films and documentaries.
Demme combined those two talents in “Rachel Getting Married.” His other movies that will last and last are the Talking Heads documentary “Stop Making Sense,” two Neil Young films, and so many great features including “Something Wild” (really. please watch this movie), as well as “Philadelphia,” “Married to the Mob,” “Swing Shift,” the remake of “The Manchurian Candidate” with Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington, and “Rikki and the Flash” (an underpraised film).
And don’t forget the early, really brilliant films like “Melvin and Howard,” “Handle with Care,” and “Fighting Mad.”
He loved music, you can hear it and see it in all his films. He worked with the best musicians, from Neil Young to Chrissie Hynde, Bruce Springsteen, David Byrne, etc. All the best.
This is just a tremendous loss. Heartbreaking. Condolences to his family and friends. Jonathan’s legacy is so much love. I can’t think of a time when he wasn’t smiling a goofy grin. He was happy. And now we are very sad.