8.5/10
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Stop Making Sense (1984)

An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

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ON DISC
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robbie Robertson, Muddy Waters, Neil Young
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alex Weir ...
Steven Scales ...
Percussion (as Steve Scales)
Lynn Mabry ...
Backing Vocals
Ednah Holt ...
Backing Vocals (as Edna Holt)
Tina Weymouth ...
Bass, Percussion and Vocals
...
Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
Chris Frantz ...
Drums and Vocals
...
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Storyline

David Byrne walks onto the stage and does a solo "Psycho Killer." Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz join him for two more songs. The crew is busy, still setting up. Then, three more musicians and two back-up singers join the band. Everybody sings, plays, harmonizes, dances, and runs. They change instruments and clothes. Bryne appears in the Big Suit. The backdrop is often black, but sometimes it displays words, images, or children's drawings. The band cooks for 18 songs, the lyrics are clear, the house rocks. In this concert film, the Talking Heads hardly talk, don't stop, and always make sense. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

song | band | suit | stage | musician | See All (21) »

Taglines:

Why stop making sense? Why a movie? Why a big suit? Where do the odd movements come from? What will the band do next?

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1984 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Не ищи смысла  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$21,051 (USA) (28 May 1999)

Gross:

$148,443 (USA) (3 December 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (VHS)

Sound Mix:

(1999 re-release)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Byrne's staggering during the latter part of "Psycho Killer" was directly inspired by Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding (1951) during the song "I Left My Hat In Haiti". See more »

Goofs

At several points throughout the film, the sound and vision do not sync up. This is particularly noticeable during "Found A Job:" early in the song, a cymbal crash is heard, even though Chris Frantz is not seen to hit one. A few bars later, he hits the cymbal, but no sound is heard. See more »

Quotes

David Byrne: I've got a tape I want to play.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Keskiyön auringon kuvat (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Psycho Killer
Written by David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz
Performed by Talking Heads
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User Reviews

Great film making as well as great music
8 December 2001 | by (Northern Ireland) – See all my reviews

After getting my DVD player, this is one of the first discs I bought. I first saw this movie in the eighties as a fan of the music and was completely floored by a band at their peak. Since then, I've grown to appreciate good cinema as much as music, and I now look at Stop Making Sense from a slightly different perspective.

The movie stands up by any measure of cinematic quality - the direction, the photography, the lighting, the set design, the editing, the performances of the 'actors'. Everything is unquestionably good. A couple of illustrations -

During 'Once in a Lifetime', the camera holds on David Byrne, framing him from the waist up, and doesn't leave him until the very last moments of the song. His performance is absolutely enthralling. I've been trying to think of a movie where an actor holds one shot for so long, and I can't.

The photography and lighting during 'What a Day That Was' are beautiful. The stark white up-lighting reduces a large auditorium and stage to a claustrophobic collage of shadows. The effect is not unlike some scenes in Charles Laughton's 'Night of the Hunter'.

In contrast to some other views posted here, I think the Tom Tom Club's appearance adds a colourful punctuation to the flow of the movie.

The DVD is one of the very few I've come across where the commentary is worth listening to. It switches between all four band members plus Jonathan Demme, and the anecdotes are constantly interesting and often very funny. As a package, this is one of the most satisfying DVD's I own. All the extras are worthwhile and well presented, unlike most 'Special Editions' which are crammed full of junk you wouldn't normally give a second look.

It's a pity that, by its nature, Stop Making Sense will only ever appeal to a small audience, because it deserves to be revered by fans of cinema as well as music. The rock movie genre has only a handful of classics to its name, but Stop Making Sense is its Citizen Kane, its Exorcist, its Godfather, its Star Wars. It really is that good.


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