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
Back in the day, when you could hear Talking Heads perform live at CBGB for a five-dollar cover charge and a two-drink minimum, they were considered unusual in the New-Wave community because they did NOT go crazy on stage, did not jump around or dance in the freaky, hyperactive manner David Byrne displays in this movie. They were known for just standing on stage and making excellent music. This reputation enhanced their position as one of the bands for smart new-wavers, diametrically opposite from the dumb-punk bands like the Ramones, the Sex-Pistols, and the Damned. See more »
You can hear the bass of Tina Weymouth doing several slides in the last part of "Genius of Love" meanwhile she is showed dancing and not sliding. See more »
All concert films should be as innovative, energetic and just plain fun as Stop Making Sense. With Jonathan Demme as director, the concert has a weird and wonderful theatrical look, with David Byrne arriving onstage at the beginning, armed with an acoustic guitar. Gradually, the other members of the band join him and the stage sets become highly unusual. For visuals, nothing matches the odd behavior of Byrne and quirky but (for the most part) great songs of the Talking Heads better than Demme's approach to filming. The movie has such a terrific build up (at one point Byrne actually runs around the stage repeatedly) that you cannot help but move with it. I can't believe concert films that followed did not even attempt to match this film's innovativeness. A great movie, even if you've never heard of the Talking Heads.
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