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14 Jonathan Demme Movies for Music Lovers

For Jonathan Demme, music often played a leading role in filmmaking – be that as the central focus or as an element that pushed a more conventional narrative along.

Click through the above gallery of 14 Jonathan Demme Movies for Music Lovers and of course you’ll find Stop Making Sense – a 1984 film on the Talking Heads that is often cited as the best concert documentary ever. Along the way, Demme also became friends and a regular collaborator with rock stars like Bruce Springsteen, David Byrne and Neil Young. He made a rock-doc on Justin Timberlake, too. But movies like 1986’s Something Wild and 2015’s Ricki and the Flash were just as creatively intertwined with their soundtrack.

Demme had an ear for marrying songs with scripts that, coupled with his willingness to push the boundaries of directing, left an indelible mark on film. Stop Making Sense, for instance, eschewed the typical audience cutaways, and lingered over moments rather than following the quick-cut mentality that MTV had made all the fashion. He later used a similar approach during New Order‘s video for “The Perfect Kiss,” letting shots unspool as they performed the song.

“The use of extended shots instead of quick cuts is a result of my belief that there is great power available by holding on any extended terrific moment and letting the viewer become more deeply involved in the performance at hand,” Demme told Time in 2014, “instead of constantly interrupting the flow with un-needed cuts. Too much cutting usually speaks to a lack of editorial confidence in the players and the music.”

As the above gallery of 14 Jonathan Demme Movies for Music Lovers shows, he was never one who lacked that essential confidence in the power of a song.

Next: Talking Heads Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness

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