Something Wild gets a Criterion release; it was Demme before the Oscars anoited him with seriousness (I'm a fan of Philadelphia and Rachel Getting Married, not so much of Beloved.) and the birth of a director's all-or-nothing style. Also, the above scene may be my favorite screen dance this side of Gene Kelly. (NYT)
In 1983, Mr. Demme, Mr. Fujimoto and the editor Craig McKay saw their finished version of the Goldie Hawn period film “Swing Shift” taken away from them to be rewritten, recut and even, in part, reshot. “I was shattered,” Mr. Demme said. “I was taken down to zero.” Happily, the worst of it came while Mr. Demme was filming the Talking Heads on their 1983 tour stops in Los Angeles for “Stop Making Sense.” “I was making the Talking Heads movie while going through this hideous experience,” he said. “It was a joy to shoot it. The reception was great. It made me feel better about filmmaking, so when I read the script for ‘Something Wild’ I was ready to dive in again.”
Now, every detail would begin and end with the director’s vision. Mr. Demme even considered the casting of bit parts like Used Car Guy and Motorcycle Cop critical, roles that were filled by the directors John Waters and John Sayles. “I guess, subliminally, it looks like I was trying to populate this rebirth film with some of the great independent filmmakers,” Mr. Demme said.