What Goes Around Comes Around: The Films of Jonathan Demme
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
This first book on the director of The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia is comprehensive, analyzing each of Jonathan Demme’s thirteen films.
Demme received the 1980 New York Film Critics Award as Best Director for Melvin and Howard. Subsequent Demme films such as Something Wild and the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, which won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Documentary, made Demme a cult favorite in the league of Roger Corman.
With 199l’s The Silence of the Lambs, Demme moved into a different league. The top-grossing film of the year, Silence won five Academy Awards, becoming the first film to sweep the Best Director, Actor, Actress, and Picture categories since 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Philadelphia also has been a top-grossing film, with Tom Hanks winning 1994’s Best Actor Oscar.
Michael Bliss and Christina Banks include a wealth of biographical and critical data; an exclusive interview with Demme; the only on-set report on the filming of The Silence of the Lambs; an interview with Craig McKay, Demme’s Emmy-winning film editor; a bibliography; and a Demme filmography. Many of the book’s movie still illustrations have never been published.
Significantly, Kay and Hazel forgive each other outside the house, demonstrating their escape, through reciprocal support, from the old idea of women's space. This is also the final scene that Hawn chose to change. The revised version has a mutual reconciliation between Kay and Hazel, as though both had been equally at fault for their rift. Hawn removes the somewhat accusing lines that Demme's Hazel, whose back is to the camera, speaks. Demme's Hazel says to Kay (who has asked her to come
inquiry. He's white and middle class, attributes made clear when he talks at one point about how his neighbors in "white-bread homogeneous ... brick-wall Boston" would respond to his requests to turn down their music because they all spoke "a common language," a function of their shared racial and socioeconomic upbringing. This situation changes when Gray moves to New York City, which, in military terms, is more like a battlefield compared to Boston's sedateness. The shift in locates makes more
people, the one abandoned by his wife, the other having abandoned her husband (whom she must at some time have loved), both of whom want affection and stability, along with enough spontaneity to make life interesting. Audrey can't find what she needs in Ray, who was obviously too dangerous for her; Charlie couldn't find what he needed in his wife, for whom he may have seemed too tame. Through Charlie's touching phone call with his son, when he tells the boy to "knock one out of the park for
this universe is the vibrant, honest one of the Lower East Side, where the implication is that happiness has nothing to do with money, a generalization that Demme makes convincing through the attractive character traits of the people, chiefly Rita ("Sister" Carol East), whom Angela meets down there. Although Demme's whimsical tone has the unfortunate side-effect of diminishing the impact that the film's murders should have on us, there is an exception to this response: just before Tommywhose
checks on Stop Making Sense; it's the only movie I've ever had them on. Anyway, that's not likely to happen if the band is as great as Talking Heads, or if the storyteller is as gifted as Spalding. For those kinds of films, the challenge is to very literally make the movie audience get as excited about their performance as I was initially. B: Then what happens to the Demme style? D: Audiences don't really give a damn about that anyway. The vast majority of moviegoers want to have a good