Talking Heads perform in the music video "Wild Wild Life" from the album "True Stories" recorded for Sire Records. On a club stage in front of a band and a wall of televisions, a variety of... See full summary »
A photographer and her girlfriend are roommates. She is stuck with small-change shooting jobs and dreams of success. When her roommate decides to get married and leave, she feels hurt and has to learn how to deal with living alone.
David Byrne of Talking Heads fame visits a typical (and fictional) Texas town, on the eve of the town's celebration of the state's sesquicentennial. He meets various colorful local characters, most notably Lewis Fyne, a big-hearted bachelor in search of matrimony.Written by
Tim Horrigan <email@example.com>
There is either an intentional theme, or triple coincidence, with red convertible cars. The Narrator is driving a red 1985 Chrysler LeBaron convertible, the Culvers' parade car is a red 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, and the Shriners are driving miniature red 1966 (or thereabouts) Ford Mustang convertibles. See more »
The movie supposedly takes place in the town of Virgil, Texas. However, in one scene where little children in 4-H shirts are dancing in a field, a water tower is briefly visible in the background that clearly says "RED OAK". See more »
At this late date, TRUE STORIES the lone feature film directed by renaissance man/rock-n-roll artiste/ex-Rhode Island School of Design student David Byrne - is viewed (if remembered as all) as a cerebral artifact from the 80s. TRUE STORIES is a far from flawless film, and its' influence is highly debatable. But the 90s saw an explosion of films wrapped in an aura of aloof, ironic cool bits of very low-key postmodernist voyeuristic glimpses into the day-to-day lives of 'ordinary people' either lauded or ridiculed for their 'authenticity.'
Simultaneously, a number of feature films were also exploring the limits of a dubious sub-style known as faux-documentary. And great or not this fascinating film reworked the possibilities of both long before most of the competition. In essence, this is a very detached take on the musical set in fictional Virgil, Texas a small-but-growing prairie boomtown notable for its antiseptic normality. Each of the principal characters are based upon people Byrne (who co-wrote the screenplay) had read about in tabloid newspapers hence the man so lonely he buys commercial time to advertise himself on TV (John Goodman), the laziest woman in the world (Swoozie Kurtz), the world's worst pathological liar (Jo Harvey Allen), and spectacles like the mall fashion show, where we get to see (among other treats) a 3-piece suit made entirely out of lawn clippings (What?!?! No macramé, velvet paintings, tractor pulls or decoupage?). Byrne who appears as a travel guide/narrator - gently escorts the audience through this offbeat parade, as the varied denizens of Virgil do what they do, occasionally pausing to sing one of the numerous songs (genre exercises well-matched to the characters - watch for a great 'Papa Legba' performed by the late Pops Staples) written by Byrne for the film. At worst, TRUE STORIES could be viewed as the enthusiastic and genuinely inspired work of an ambitious, intellectual urbanite who really, really ought to get out more and Byrne should be credited for not indulging in the sneering, aloof insularity that has occasionally infected more recent films of this variety.
But at best it comes across as a genuine attempt at presenting a unique variety of homegrown, Americana-style surrealism something that might possibly qualify as a specific strand of folk art and culture that would be a rural counterpart to what folks like Keith Haring, Laurie Anderson, Barbara Krueger, Spalding Grey and Byrne were doing in the insular world of Manhattan in the 1980s. TRUE STORIES looks amazing thanks to the sparse cinematography, and Spalding Grey, John Goodman (as Byrne's comic foil) and Pops Staples are all great. A genuinely seminal, if flawed film.
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