By Abby Hassler 

Director Jonathan Demme passed away today (April 26) due to complications brought on from esophageal cancer and heart disease.

As the Talking Heads’ David Byrne collaborated with Demme numerous times over the years, Bryne penned a heartfelt tributee to the director, celebrating his “focus on character, his love of ordinary people, [which] made the movies something different and special.”


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The band and Demme are most notably known for their collaboration on Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. In the letter, Bryne praised Demme’s generosity throughout the project.

“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,” he wrote. “Though I had directed music videos before, this mentoring of Jonathan’s emboldened me to try making a feature film.”

This inspiration led Byrne to try to direct himself, with the 1986 True Stories and the 1989 documentary Ile Aiye. The two worked together writing a song for Something Wild and the score for Married to the Mob.


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