Brett Schutt @ Sundance’s review published on Letterboxd:
One of the cravings I get when I watch a movie is the euphoria I feel at the end of the film. When you watch a great movie- I mean a truly great movie. One you know you will see again someday, one that will leave you thinking about it over and over again, one you will discuss and one that will influence you. That feeling when the credits roll, and you get a cool visual and some powerful music and it hits you in the stomach that you saw something that actually changed you.
The Talking Heads live album, Stop Making Sense is like a 90 minute version of that same euphoria. An insanely watchable, entertaining and magnificent concert film- probably the best ever made.
I luckily got to see this in cinemas and its one of the best times I've had in a Theatre in a very long time. Everyone in the cinema were beating their head to the music, and even dancing in their seats. After each song, the audience would applaud and I truly felt like I was actually there seeing David Byrne in all his glory. A 60 something year old lady sat next to me and she was jamming out and told me at the end of the film, "I had never heard of The Talking Heads and I feel like I've been missing out on art for 30 years," and heck, I couldn't disagree with her.
I'm going to sound really cynical here- but, I long for music like this to come back. I have a few modern artists I listen to a lot, like The Gorillaz, The 1975, Arcade Fire and Harry Styles. However, so much of the radio just sounds so bland, everything sounds so similar and its so vanilla. I don't feel any variety coming into current mainstream music anymore. The Talking Heads reminds me of pure music at its finest. The instruments strumming at just the right time, that right note being hit to make the ultimate effect. With the use of impressive cinematography and direction from the late great Jonathan Demme (which this is his best movie don't @ me) and some of the most impressive sets I've seen put to a concert, not to mention some amazing costume changes makes this production always dazzling and almost hypnotizing to look at. You can just get lost in this. It reminds me of Fantasia in a weird way. It can kinda make you think about other things going on in your life but also put you in a sport of peaceful bliss for a while. I find it oddly comforting and incredibly inspirational. Being someone who's been in live productions before, I have no idea how they pulled all of this off. David Byrne and the rest of the band must be superhuman. They are putting their blood, sweat and tears into this- you can see the sweat fall off their face. Yet, you see the passion and fun they are having. This isn't a job for them, it's making art. Making something people will love and cherish and hold dear for years to come, and I'm so glad people have done that.
It's one of the most impressive things I've ever seen. It's pretty much seamless in execution- it's another one of those films that feels like a balancing act and they actually made it and stuck the landing. It's a pure high of a movie- it's just spectacular. Heck, it's hard to rank a concert film in your favorite movies list, but, I might have to do it with this one. It's *that* good.
A year ago, I gave the film a 4/5 and really liked it, but, this time I truly saw all the talent involved in this and the way people respond to it- including myself. This just gives off a high most movies dream of doing and it's perfectly crafted. It's so much fun, but, it also makes me wanna be more then I am. Perfect movie- absolutely seek this one out and discover the power of The Talking Heads yourself.