The news of Jonathan Demme‘s death, while remarkably sad, has had at least one positive effect: across the film world and on social media we’ve seen an outpouring of love for one of our most versatile and effective filmmakers, one that’s unique for commending the artist and person. Take a quick look at the films and you’ll start to understand why. His treatment of people, how he photographed actors and allowed them to express a range of emotion that’s rare in any kind of art, would overpower viewers, and not always in the most obvious ways. How many of us saw Silence of the Lambs at a young age and were particularly moved by a series of close-ups whose place and effect we’d fail to describe? How much more easily could Beloved or Philadelphia just been social-issue movies if they weren’t such direct addresses of their subject and those affected by them?
This is considered rather strongly in a video essay Jacob T. Swinney made for the now-defunct Press Play a couple of years ago. As set to “Goodbye Horses,” the song Demme immortalized in Married to the Mob and The Silence of the Lambs, it, too, is overpowering, more so than just about any supercut I could name. (And it’ll remind you just how good that Q. Lazzarus song really is.)