Storefront Hitchcock (1998)

March 25, 2017 · Tennessee Theatre · 10:00 A.M.

Presented in 35mm.

“Demme’s relaxed, ego-free direction is a reminder that the quirky humanist behind Melvin And Howard and Married To The Mob hasn’t lost his touch. The warm rapport between director and subject in Storefront Hitchcock all but radiates from the screen.”–Scott Tobias, The A.V. Club

Storefront Hitchcock, another of Jonathan Demme’s brilliant performance films, captures surrealist art-rocker Robyn Hitchcock ambling through more than a dozen of his best, most idiosyncratic tunes. In between songs, he delivers deadpan monologues on organized religion and other conspiracies.

As for the “storefront” of the title, it’s quite literal–behind Hitchcock we see an open storefront window allowing passersby to peek in. Sometimes they enjoy the show, sometimes they just wonder what the hell is going on. It’s a simple, but radical idea for a concert film–the performer must compete for our attention against ordinary people on the street. In the process, Demme turns them into unwitting performers, and he again strips away the hagiographic tendencies of the rock concert film.

We are pleased to be screening this 35mm print of Storefront Hitchcock loaned from the Jonathan Demme collection of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives.

Storefront Hitchcock screened as part of our 11-film Jonathan Demme retrospective, Life is Performance / Performance is Life, at Big Ears.