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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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Feature films are suffering a kind of bad time right now, in my opinion, because the feature films that play in theaters are blockbusters. That seems to fill the theaters, but the art-house cinema is gone. If I made a feature film, it might play in L.A. and New York, a couple of other places, for a week in a little part of a cineplex, and then it would go who knows where. I built this to be on the big screen. It will be on a smaller screen, but it’s built for the big screen. You want a feature film to play on a big screen with big sound, and utilize all the best technology to make a world. It’s really tough after all that work to not get it in the theater. So I say that cable television is a new art house, and it’s good that it’s here.”
~ David Lynch

“The purpose of film isn’t to present the kindness of the world.”
~ Isabelle Huppert