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Jonathan Demme Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (9)  | Trivia (21)  | Personal Quotes (5)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA
Died in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA  (complications from esophageal cancer and heart disease)
Birth NameRobert Jonathan Demme
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jonathan Demme was born on February 22, 1944 in Baldwin, Long Island, New York, USA. He was a director and producer, known for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Rachel Getting Married (2008) and Philadelphia (1993). He was married to Joanne Howard and Evelyn Purcell. He died on April 26, 2017 in Manhattan, New York City, New York.

Family (4)

Spouse Joanne Howard (1987 - 26 April 2017)  (his death)  (3 children)
Evelyn Purcell (1970 - 27 February 1984)  (divorced)
Children Brooklyn Demme
Ramona Demme
Jos Demme
Parents Robert E. Demme
Dorothy Demme
Relatives Ted Demme (niece or nephew)
Jennifer Demme (niece or nephew)
Peter Demme (sibling)
Edith Demme (grandparent)

Trade Mark (9)

Frequently casts Buzz Kilman in a cameo role
Frequently uses Tak Fujimoto as his director of photography
Characters looking directly into the camera
Frequently uses New Order songs in the score of his movies
Heavy use of steadicam interspersed with shots of handheld shots
Extreme close-ups on faces.
Frequently casts locals to the shooting locations of his films, some of whom are non-actors.
Frequently uses Pablo Ferro for his title sequences and montages.

Trivia (21)

Awarded honorary degree by Wesleyan University (June 3, 1990).
Co-directed the music video Bruce Springsteen: Streets of Philadelphia (1994) with his nephew, Ted Demme.
Was voted the 45th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 255-258. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
Directed 8 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Mary Steenburgen, Jason Robards, Christine Lahti, Dean Stockwell, Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks, and Anne Hathaway. Steenburgen, Hopkins, Foster and Hanks won Oscars for their performances in one of Demme's movies.
He and Michael Mann have both directed a Hannibal Lecter film and have also both been involved in a film about Howard Hughes. Mann directed Manhunter (1986) and produced The Aviator (2004), which he was originally to have directed. One of Demme's earliest films was Melvin and Howard (1980), and he later went on to direct The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Member of 'Official Competition' jury at the 53rd Cannes International Film Festival in 2000.
Older brother of Peter Demme.
First cousin, once removed, of Robert W. Castle.
Writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of his biggest fans and as a result, pays homage to Demme (his famous close-ups, for example) in his work.
Former critic who began his career as a publicist for Joseph E. Levine before becoming a screenwriter and producer for Roger Corman's New World Productions.
Graduated from the University of Florida.
Formed production company Clinica Estetico in 1987 in conjunction with producers Edward Saxon & Peter Saraf.
Was friends with Jodie Foster & Justin Timberlake.
Great-nephew of Willy Castle.
Grandson of Edith Demme.
Second cousin of Jane Castle Moulton.
He has directed two films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Stop Making Sense (1984) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Personal Quotes (5)

I don't think it's sacrilegious to remake any movie, including a good or even great movie. I think what's sacrilegious is to make a bad movie, whether it's a remake or an original. It's what I always tell my actor friends, anybody who's in this, this [business], you've gotta try to hold out and only do the scripts, do the material that offers you the opportunity to do your best work. Because if you do stuff that doesn't give you that opportunity? Your work's not gonna be good. And you're gonna suffer in the long run from that. So I don't care if it's a remake if it's a great script with parts in it that can attract fantastic actors, God, you know, to make the movie.
I was really hooked on movies at a very young age. The Manchurian Candidate (1962), along with Seven Days in May (1964), Fail Safe (1964) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) were this quartet of anarchistic black-and-white American movies, each of which did things that you just didn't do in American movies, especially in the realm of irreverence toward politics and government institutions and the Army. I was what, 16, it was shocking, it was thrilling and, interestingly, it predated my exposure to the French New Wave so, in a way, this was the American, a certain kind of new wave in American movies.
[on Michelle Pfeiffer] I would love to team up with Michelle again. She's underutilized.
[on Kaili Blues (2015)] What if a brazen first-time filmmaker decided - beyond audaciously - that they didn't want to cut from one location to another (all quite distant from each other) for about oh, half their new movie, and instead chose to dare to go with one super-duper-transcendental half-hour plus single take? Answer: you wind up with Bi Gan's absolutely extraordinary "Kaili Blues". Fair warning here: you need to be a seriously open and accessible film buff / cineaste / movie lover to be right for this picture. The cinema muse-deities have inspired and blessed "Kaili Blues" with a magic and mystery that is utterly unique. This film is capable of generating giant cinema joyfulness in those who are ready to bring an open heart, mind and eye to this viewing experience. Director Bi Gan won 'Best Emerging Director' and 'Best First Feature' at the 2015 Locarno Film Festival. I had the thrill of seeing this film first at last year's Venice Film Festival, and two months later at the Lisbon and Estoril Film Festivals. The screenings I attended gave rise to audience-ecstasy in both situations. I loved it even more the second time. [2016]
Your antagonist has to be every bit as formidable as your hero, or you diminish the character you're supposed to care about. For people starting out writing scripts, they're in that 'hiss-the-villain' mode, and you always want to say "Wait, wait, wait. They're human too. Give them some problems and you'll end up with a better story".

Salary (1)

The Manchurian Candidate (2004) $1,000,000

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