20 Most Essential Jonathan Demme Movies

From serial-killer thrillers to 'Stop Making Sense,' mob comedies to a feature-length monologue – the Demme films you need to see ASAP

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'Neil Young: Heart of Gold' (2006)

Demme made three concert documentaries about his old friend Neil Young in the span of six years. The warmest is the first, Heart of Gold, which finds the adventurous artist in unplugged mode, playing several songs off his plainspoken 2005 folk record Prairie Wind. Utilizing leisurely camera moves and intimate close-ups, this wistful documentary matches the mood of the reflective music, which was written as Young was preparing to have surgery for a brain aneurysm. Melancholy ballads about family and love dominate the performance movie, and the cantankerous singer is refreshingly chummy from the stage of the Ryman, telling stories between songs and looking grateful to still be doing what he loves. The feeling is mutual for anyone watching the film. TG

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