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
The movie is notable for being the first made entirely using digital audio techniques. See more »
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 »
'Stop Making Sense' is more than simply a concert film. It is pure cinema. It engages all of the senses, it creates a mood, it establishes an atmosphere, it has narrative logic, and it jolts the viewer with electric energy. You can't sit still while watching this. You can't keep your head from bobbing, or your mouth from moving, if you know the words to the songs.
Twenty years later, the sound and image of Talking Heads still feels new, maybe even post-new. It's frightening to look at this film and then consider that all of the Talking Heads are now in their fifties, and David Byrne's hair is as white as Steve Martin's. Byrne's music has mellowed just as people mellow with age, and his fascinating career along with the direction it's taken is emblematic of the excitement that youth brings to an artist's work. To watch 'Stop Making Sense' is to be alive, and for someone who never had and probably never will have the opportunity to see Talking Heads live, and even for those who have, it is a blessing to have a film such as this to preserve the unmatched innovation and energy of this band. Watching David Byrne perform in this film is an awesome sight. Schwarzenegger and Stallone were never this thrilling.
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