The film maker steered Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense...
Stop Making Sense

David Byrne has written a tribute to his friend and collaborator Jonathan Demme.

The film maker won an Oscar for his involvement with Silence Of The Lambs, but to music fans Jonathan Demme will forever be associated with Stop Making Sense.

The Talking Heads' concert film / conceptual piece was a huge gamble for all involved, but remains one of the band's most striking and best-loved moments.

Jonathan Demme passed away earlier this week, with Talking Heads' singer David Byrne penning a eulogy on his website.

"I met Jonathan in the ‘80s when Talking Heads were touring a show that he would eventually film and turn into Stop Making Sense. While touring, I thought the show had turned out well and might hold up as a movie, and a mutual friend introduced us. I loved his films Melvin and Howard and Citizens Band (AKA Handle With Care). From those movies alone, one could sense his love of ordinary people. That love surfaces and is manifest over and over throughout his career.

"Jonathan was also a huge music fan—that’s obvious in his films too—many of which are jam-packed with songs by the often obscure artists he loved. He’d find ways to slip a reggae artist’s song or a Haitian recording into a narrative film in ways that were often joyous and unexpected."

Later, the singer looked back on their collaborative work: "Stop Making Sense was character driven too. Jonathan’s skill was to see the show almost as a theatrical ensemble piece, in which the characters and their quirks would be introduced to the audience, and you’d get to know the band as people, each with their distinct personalities. They became your friends, in a sense."

"I was too focused on the music, the staging and the lighting to see how important his focus on character was—it made the movies something different and special. Jonathan was also incredibly generous during the editing and mixing. He and producer Gary Goetzman made us in the band feel included; they wanted to hear what we had to say. That inclusion was hugely inspirational for me. Though I had directed music videos before, this mentoring of Jonathan’s emboldened me to try making a feature film."

Finishing, David Byrne wrote: "He often turned what would be a genre film into a very personal expression. His view of the world was open, warm, animated and energetic. He was directing T.V. episodes even this year, when he was in remission. Jonathan, we’ll miss you."

Read the full tribute HERE.

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