Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★★


Dude, not only could I see David Byrne's cavities, but I could look into every pore on his face and see the beads of sweat as they emerged in real time. This legendary four night Talking Heads performance in December of 1983 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood might be the most primal, urgent, definitive concert in music history. Of course that's probably not true, but it feels that way, exclusively because of Jonathan Demme's direction, which includes unique cinematography and editing that is so traditionally anathema to the rote recording of song and dance that is the modus operandi of literally every other concert film ever made, including the biggest and most prominent ones you can possibly imagine. This is the genre's greatest moment, a defining landmark of the art form that weaves sound and image so inextricably, like a perfect DNA double helix, each aspect elevating the other, forever spiraling, mirroring, in harmony, what lies deep inside the very core of our being. This is a film to watch barefoot, connected to the Earth beneath your feet, while David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, and the rest of the band, which includes Bernie Worrell and the two greatest backing singers I've ever seen, Lynn Mary and Ednah Holt, become possessed by rhythm, alchemize it into spirituality, and in turn communicate that to the audience, now thunderously and rapturously and meticulously delivered by the awesome IMAX theatre experience, in pristine 4K digital imagery, sound waves and vibrations, beamed through the space/time continuum from four decades ago. I swear I had better seats than whoever was actually in the front row at the Pantages. Stop Making Sense is what film is for, and IMAX is what theaters are for, and anyone who is even remotely on the fence about the benefit of the format, should drive as far as needed to catch this transcendent experience before The Exorcist takes over the lease. Truly one of the best filmgoing experiences of my life.

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