Although he's directed some pretty big movies, director Jonathan Demme ('The Silence of the Lambs,' 'Philadelphia') says he's appalled at how much it costs to make "high-style films" these days.

"I am not comfortable spending a lot of money on a movie any more," Demme said at the Aruba Film Festival, where he was honored for 'The Agronomist,' a documentary about assassinated Haitian journalist Jean Dominick.

His last major film, 2004's 'The Manchurian Candidate,' cost $80 million and earned only $65 in domestic box office.

"[That movie] cost a fortune. It was just so much money. You see something like 'Napoleon Dynamite' made for under $100,000 and you're like f--k, I can't beat that," Demme said. "The effort going into making these huge budget Hollywood movies wasn't for me."

He spoke in admiration of kids who put their movies up on Youtube. "They're paid nothing to make films that cost nothing, to be shown for nothing. It's this amazing place now where filmmaking is in a revenue-less void."

His does envision his next project, an adaptation of Dave Eggers 'Zeitoun,' as being more "Hollywood-like," but that he wants to "figure out ways to make it as inexpensively as possible," stressing imagination is more important than money.

Demme, who got his start under thrifty B-movie legend Roger Corman, proudly noted that none of his movies have ever gone over budget or over schedule.

Do you agree with Demme?

[Via PopEater, THR]
categories Movies, Video