IMDb > Stop Making Sense (1984)
Stop Making Sense
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Stop Making Sense (1984) More at IMDbPro »

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Stop Making Sense -- An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads.

Overview

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8.4/10   6,815 votes »
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View company contact information for Stop Making Sense on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 November 1984 (West Germany) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Why stop making sense? Why a movie? Why a big suit? Where do the odd movements come from? What will the band do next?
Plot:
An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
3 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Life During Showtime See more (61 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Bernie Worrell ... Keyboards
Alex Weir ... Guitar and Vocals
Steven Scales ... Percussion (as Steve Scales)
Lynn Mabry ... Backing Vocals
Ednah Holt ... Backing Vocals (as Edna Holt)
Tina Weymouth ... Bass, Percussion and Vocals

Jerry Harrison ... Guitar, Keyboards and Vocals
Chris Frantz ... Drums and Vocals

David Byrne ... Vocals and Guitar
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Directed by
Jonathan Demme 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Jonathan Demme 
Talking Heads 

Produced by
Gary Goetzman .... producer
Gary Kurfirst .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
David Byrne 
Chris Frantz 
Jerry Harrison 
Talking Heads 
Tina Weymouth 
 
Cinematography by
Jordan Cronenweth 
 
Film Editing by
Lisa Day 
 
Production Management
Charles Myers .... production manager (as Charles A. Myers)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Looney .... second assistant director
Joe Viola .... first assistant director (as Joseph A. Viola)
 
Sound Department
David Byrne .... re-recording supervisor
Mike Carver .... boom operator
Alan Chinowsky .... live recording engineer
Jonathan Demme .... re-recording supervisor
Walter A. Gest .... re-recording recordist
Gary Goetzman .... re-recording supervisor
Jerry Harrison .... re-recording supervisor
Steve Maslow .... re-recording engineer
Mark Wolfson .... sound consultant
Billy Youdelman .... production mixer
Rick Coberly .... sound (uncredited)
Stan Horine .... sound (uncredited)
Charles Butch Watson .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Frank DeMarco .... special effects master
Dave Sarger .... assistant special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Bill Hansard .... special visual effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Billy Beaird .... grip (as Bill Beaird)
David Byrne .... lighting design
Mike Chevalier .... camera operator
Jeff Cronenweth .... second assistant camera
Beverly Emmons .... lighting design
Bob Fine .... electrician
Anthony Francesco .... first assistant camera (as Tony Francesco)
Dave Friedman .... still photographer
Lloyd Gowdy .... electrician
John Graham .... film loader
Michael Greenlee .... electrician
Cary Griffith .... key grip
Khan Griffith .... grip
Frederick Hamm .... second assistant camera (as Fred Hamm)
Charlie Hammerschmitt .... camera operator (as Charlie Hammerschmidt)
Daniel Hernández .... electrician
Ernest Holzman .... second assistant camera (as Ernie Holzman)
László Horváth .... grip (as Lazlo Horvath)
Susan C. Ingram .... second assistant camera (as Susan Ingram)
Stephen V. Isbell .... grip (as Steve Isbell)
Robert Isenberg .... camera operator (as Robert Eisenberg)
Johnny E. Jensen .... camera operator (as John Jensen)
Kevin Jewison .... first assistant camera (as Kevin Jewson)
Horace Jordan .... first assistant camera
Thomas Kessler .... electrician
Joe R. Marquette Jr. .... camera operator (as Joe Marquette Jr.)
Joseph Martens .... electrician
Rick Martens .... gaffer
Steve McLean .... first assistant camera
Fred Muncey .... best boy
Andy Romanoff .... video assist coordinator
Phillip R. Sarabia .... grip (as Phil Sarabia)
Art Schwab .... first assistant camera
Bernie Schwartz .... grip
Robert Seaman .... camera operator
Bing Sokolsky .... first assistant camera
Robert C. Thomas .... camera operator (as Robert Thomas)
Greg Walters .... film loader
Greg Walters .... second assistant camera (as Gregory Walters)
Doug Willis .... dolly grip
Mario Zavala .... second assistant camera
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gail Blacker .... costume: David Byrne's big suit
Laura Langdon .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Barry Dresner .... apprentice film editor
Greg Goetzman .... post-production best boy
Catherine Peacock .... assistant film editor
Barbara Pokras .... additional editor
Jim Prior .... assistant film editor
Brian Ralph .... negative cutter
Scot Olive .... colorist: HD remastering (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Nancy Fogarty .... music editor
Jim Henrikson .... music editor
Joel Moss .... music mixer
 
Transportation Department
Walt Freitas .... transportation
Wayne Nelson .... transportation
 
Other crew
Gerry Bakalian .... film liaison
Clive Brinworth .... stage crew
David Byrne .... conceived for the stage by
John Chimples .... slide wrangler
Robin Citrin .... production assistant
Rick Coberly .... monitor man
Bryan Curry .... production assistant (as Brian Curry)
Pablo Ferro .... title designer: main title sequence
Michael Fish .... production assistant
Jeffrey Hooper .... stage sound
Hans Kastensmith .... stage coordinator
Adelle Lutz .... creative
Cathy Malcolm .... production assistant
Eileen McGuire .... accountant
Sandy McLeod .... visual consultant
Matthew Murphy .... road manager
Sean Myers .... production assistant
June Petersen .... production associate
Jim Piccirillo .... production assistant
Dave Powell .... stage crew
Abigail Rosen .... chief light
Dave Russell .... stage manager
Ken Ryan .... auditor
Nook Schoendfield .... stage light
Jeff Shaw .... stage crew
Tommy Smith .... stage crew
W. Thomas Snyder .... key production assistant (as Tom Snyner)
Lou Stone .... production assistant
Butch Watson .... stage crew
 
Thanks
JoAnne Akalaitis .... special thanks (as Joanne Akalaitis)
Hal Ashby .... special thanks
Jeff Ayeroff .... special thanks
Steve Baker .... special thanks
Susan Doi .... special thanks
Katie Elliott .... special thanks
Kate Gaffin .... special thanks
David Gary .... special thanks
Nadia Ghaleb .... special thanks
Wendell K. Harrington .... special thanks (as Wendell Harrington)
Elliott Hoffmann .... special thanks
Craig McKay .... special thanks
John Moran .... special thanks
Nick Newton .... special thanks
Bert Padell .... special thanks
Robert Raring .... special thanks
Stephanie Spruill .... special thanks
Andrea Starr .... special thanks
Michael Tronick .... special thanks
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min | 100 min (VHS)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital (1999 re-release) | Stereo

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The footage was culled from several different shows. In order to minimize the amount of cameras in the frame, one show was all shot from one side of the stage, the next night was shot from the other side.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: As stated above the concert was edited together from three shows, and it being a "live" show, things not planned happened. The first night, David Byrne puts on the baseball cap that's thrown up on stage from the audience, so the next night it can be seen next to the drums so that he can put it on again.See more »
Quotes:
David Byrne:I wanna introduce the band by name.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hard Eight (1996)See more »
Soundtrack:
Slippery PeopleSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
Life During Showtime, 1 November 2004
Author: Bill Slocum (bill.slocum@gmail.com) from Greenwich, CT United States

"Stop Making Sense" cemented the Talking Heads' place as the Beatles of college rock, capturing the band in all its art-funk glory. Part performance art, part low-key workout, "Stop Making Sense" benefits from a set of 16 quality songs, an ever-changing visual style that never loses its inventiveness, and a lead performance by David Byrne that has to be seen to be believed.

He jogs around the stage. He bends his body in weird contortions. He puts on a really big suit. From the beginning to end, he has his shirt collar buttoned to the top like a Catholic schoolboy, and I'm not sure how or why.

"How" and "why" are words that pop up a lot while watching this. Talking Heads were weird even for the punk/new wave crowd; they wore their hair like accountants, mined everything from disco to doo-wop to African exotica for their sound, and pulled off the trick of being both mocking and reverential. So whether it's Byrne dancing with a living-room lamp or words like "facelift" and "sandwich" appearing on screen, the viewer is well advised to follow the advice of the title and just let the goofy, heady mess roll over you. You'll probably find yourself having a bit of fun.

It helps if you like their music. You don't hear much of it these days it seems. People know "Life During Wartime" and "Once In A Lifetime," while "Take Me To The River" and "Burning Down The House" were Top 40 hits in the U.S. But the most familiar tune here is probably the one non-Talking Heads song, "Genius Of Love," which is performed by the band's Byrne-less incarnation, the Tom Tom Club. That's because Mariah Carey sampled it (read "sang over it") for one of her big hits, "Fantasy."

Frankly, the band as individuals aren't all that interesting. They don't play off each other or the audience in any way, leaving it to Byrne to sell each song. Jerry Harrison, one of the four Heads, seems AWOL even on the middle of the stage. Bringing up a few session players like Bernie Worrell, the P-Funk keyboardist, helps the film avoid this "boring white guys playing their music" trap at least somewhat, though if the mission of this film is to introduce us to the Talking Heads, it's certainly no "Hard Day's Night" or "Last Waltz."

But the songs are good, and Byrne works through his bemused detachment to become quite passionate on some selected numbers. His "Once In A Lifetime" is one of the great screen performances of 1984. Goofy lighting sets up "Swamp" and "What A Day That Was" and there's oddball tricks aplenty throughout. I like the lower-key "Heaven," a wistful number about "a place where nothing ever happens" which Byrne delivers with the right amount of grace while bassist Tina Weymouth delivers some solid accompaniment.

I see a lot of times where the notes being played or hit don't correspond with what's on screen. The film was shot over a period of days, and then edited together, but judging from the perfect quality of the performed pieces, I sense some post-game "sweetening" went on. But it's a nice piece to watch, very sublime, and the new DVD treatment is a decided gem worth having. You'll wish you were back in the 1980s when the Heads were the newest thing, though they never really got old. At least they will always be fresh and alive and together on "Stop Making Sense."

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