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‘Stop Making Sense’ director Jonathan Demme dies at 73

Jonathan Demme in 2016 (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

Acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme has died at age 73. The director’s family confirmed the death, due to esophageal cancer and heart disease, to Indiewire. Among Demme’s many achievements is the 1984 movie that’s been called the greatest concert film ever made: Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense. Demme, who won an Oscar for directing The Silence of the Lambs (1991), also has film credits including Philadelphia (1993).

Stop Making Sense helped catapult Talking Heads into the top echelons of pop bands, spotlighting their kinetic live energy and vastly original stagework, with frontman David Byrne wearing his instantly iconic “big suit.” Breaking with longstanding convention, Demme kept his camera trained directly on the band, forgoing audience reaction shots and making the film audience feel like they were watching a private performance.

Demme also directed three films with Neil Young, and a 2016 Justin Timberlake concert film.