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What Goes Around Comes Around

What Goes Around Comes Around

The Films of Jonathan Demme

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Michael Bliss and Christina Banks


NLEB (Other formats: Hardcover)
192 pages, 6.125 x 9.25, 34 illustrations


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About the Book

This first book on the director of The Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia is comprehensive, analyzing each of Jonathan Demme’s thirteen films.

Demme received the 1980 New York Film Critics Award as Best Director for Melvin and Howard. Subsequent Demme films such as Something Wild and the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, which won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Documentary, made Demme a cult favorite in the league of Roger Corman.

With 199l’s The Silence of the Lambs, Demme moved into a different league. The top-grossing film of the year, Silence won five Academy Awards, becoming the first film to sweep the Best Director, Actor, Actress, and Picture categories since 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Philadelphia also has been a top-grossing film, with Tom Hanks winning 1994’s Best Actor Oscar.

Michael Bliss and Christina Banks include a wealth of biographical and critical data; an exclusive interview with Demme; the only on-set report on the filming of The Silence of the Lambs; an interview with Craig McKay, Demme’s Emmy-winning film editor; a bibliography; and a Demme filmography. Many of the book’s movie still illustrations have never been published.


Michael Bliss is the author of Justified Lives: Morality and Narrative in the Films of Sam Peckinpah and editor of Doing It Right: The Best Criticism on Sam Peckinpah’s "The Wild Bunch," both available from Southern Illinois University Press.

Christina Banks has an MA from the University of Minnesota.


"This is the first sustained reading of all of Demme’s films and places him in the tradition of classical Hollywood directors who raise entertainment to the level of art and who emphasize character and closure (‘parabolas of action’) against more open-ended radical avant-garde style."—John L. Simons, Colorado College