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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

[LOOK] One Perfect Film: Jonathan Demme’s Perfect Kiss

Recently, filmmaker Joe Swanberg (Kissing on the Mouth, Hannah Takes The Stairs) told me he thought Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense was as close to perfect as nay movie he knows. Directed by Demme and shot by Henri Alekan, the video for New Order’s “Perfect Kiss” (1985) always struck me as a perfect film: the band performing music in a practice room, their activity a cross between daydreaming and operating a submarine, with patient close-ups worthy of Dreyer. It’s 10 lovely deadpan minutes; I stood there beside myself thinking hard about the weather… From a 1998 Guardian interview with Demme: “One of my favourite things in watching any performance on film is when there isn’t a lot of cutting going on and when you get a chance to become really absorbed in the artist in hand. The same way we do, hopefully, at a concert, when we get a chance to really trip in to something that’s happening on stage. Whether the singer’s singing, or one of the other musicians is playing, we sort of stay there instead of cutting round with our eyes a lot.”


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“There’s a mass belief that if you’re texting, you’re somehow not interrupting the conversation—you’re not being rude. It’s an illusion of multitasking. I started filmmaking when people didn’t expect to have a phone on set, when it would’ve been seen as unprofessional to pull out a phone. Phones have become a huge distraction, and people work much better without them. At first it causes difficulty, but it really allows them to concentrate on what they’re doing. Everybody understands. I’ve had a lot of crews thank me. With a set, we’re trying to create a bubble of alternate reality.”
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~ Christopher Nolan