Jonathan Demme got me thinking about Jim Morrison the other day.
I first met Demme, the great American auteur, in 1982, about a year after I graduated from film school at the University of Texas at Austin and moved to Hollywood to finish my feature-length debut, Taking Tiger Mountain. Demme was starting preproduction on his first big-budget studio picture, Swing Shift. (Ten years later, he would win the Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs.)
My roommate in Hollywood, Brian Hansen, another UT film grad, had recently bonded with Demme in Manhattan after Demme had hosted a screening of six short films from Austin at the prestigious Collective for Living Cinema that included Hansen’s Speed of Light and a film I co-created with Will van Overbeek, The Death of Jim Morrison.
Now, almost four decades later, the same six shorts are being released commercially by UT Press as the package Jonathan Demme Presents: Made in Texas, produced by Louis Black, cofounder of South by Southwest and The Austin Chronicle.
Strange days have tracked us down, indeed.