A look back on director Jonathan Demme’s journeys into music

Acclaimed film director Jonathan Demme passed away at age 73 on Wednesday, reportedly due to complications from esophageal cancer. Some of Demme’s well-known directorial credits included the films Something Wild, Philadelphia, The Manchurian Candidate (2004), and most of all, the Oscar-winning The Silence of the Lambs. But Demme also had his share of directorial credits for music films and videos, a few of which we’ll take a look at below.

One of Demme’s most famous music films was the Talking Heads concert movie Stop Making Sense. It was the first film to use digital audio techniques, and included some great footage to boot.

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Demme also directed three videos for Bruce Springsteen: “Murder Incorporated”, “If I Should Fall Behind” and the powerful “Streets of Philadelphia”, which was co-directed with his nephew Ted:

Demme also directed multiple Neil Young films: 2006’s Neil Young: Heart of Gold (seen below), Neil Young Trunk Show (2009), and Neil Young Journeys (2011).

A few more notable music videos Demme directed can be seen below: “I Got You Babe” by UB40 with Chrissie Hynde, “The Perfect Kiss” by New Order, and the collaboration “Sun City” by Artists United Against Apartheid:

Per the New York Times, Demme told the SoHo News in 1988, ““Music was my first love, movies came second.” Demme unquestionably left his mark on both.

Photo credit: By Montclair Film Festival [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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