This week we pay a homage - both on Taylor street and streaming - to two filmmakers I greatly admire - Jonathan Demme and Morgan Neville. Jonathan Demme's profile of singer-songwriter Neil Young - JOURNEYS - is now part of our ever-expanding Film Library. Demme (1944-2017) was a great, truly versatile filmmaker, equally at home working in fiction (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, PHILADELPHIA, BELOVED, RACHEL GETTING MARRIED) as well as nonfiction (STOP MAKING SENSE, HAITI DREAMS OF DEMOCRACY, THE AGRONOMIST) and numerous music videos, for the likes of Bruce Springsteen and the Pretenders.
Owen Gleiberman, writing in Variety on the day that Demme died, wrote this wonderful appreciation of his work. "What defined a Demme film was the open-eyed flow of its humanity, the way his camera drank in everyone on screen - it didn't matter whether the character was a goofy truck driver, a derelict billionaire, the troubled wife of a mobster, a new wave rock 'n' roller, or a serial killer - and took the full measure of their life and spirit. For Demme, the magic of movies resides in uncovering the tantalizing mystery of who each of these people were. He wanted to know them, and he wanted you to know them, to be awed by how deeply they could move and surprise you, by how much they could mirror the depth of your own dreams and experience. That's why, no matter how hard you look for it, the defining quality of a Demme film was - and is - invisible. You can't quite see it. But oh, how you can feel it." NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS is now streaming. Just $6 for Rose members.
I didn't discover PARTS UNKNOWN, Anthony Bourdain's travel show until years after it had premiered on CNN. But I quickly became as addicted to it as I am to popcorn. It was never just about food, and that's what I loved about it. It was fueled by his curiosity to know the people, the land and culture that produced the food. Morgan Neville's stirring and compassionate profile of Bourdain - ROADRUNNER - does what documentaries do best - it pulls back layers to reveal answers, but also sends us home with more questions to ponder. The movie opens this Friday, 8/6, in the Rose.
Because of the resurgent case count of COVID-19 in Jefferson County, masks are now required at the Rose when not eating or drinking. If you forget yours we have them on hand for you.