bravo🎩’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think Stop Making Sense is a good opportunity for me to talk about my relationship with music. Because we all have our interests, our hobbies, our passions, and we all can't be passionate about everything. There just isn't enough time in the day. And for me, my top three hobbies have always been sports, video games, and movies/TV shows. The order of those three changed throughout the years, but they were always the top three. And in a distant fourth was music.
I never learned how to read music. I never learned how to play an instrument. I never followed any bands or musicians very closely growing up. I listened to whatever my parents listened to--oldies, Top 40, maybe country. I never even went to a real, tickets-required concert until I was in grad school, in my mid-twenties. I liked music. I bought CDs. I even recorded songs onto cassettes for my high school girlfriend. But that's it really.
So concert films, including ones like the acclaimed Stop Making Sense, have a big hurdle to overcome in order to grab my attention. I watched Woodstock not too long ago and loved it. But it was more of a historical documentary and only showed highlights of the festival, not entire sets. So it's a bit unique in that way. Stop Making Sense is a concert film, comprised of a string of shows put on in Los Angeles. And it's a great show. It's creative, original, energetic, and joyful. Even I could recognize that.
Did I know any of the songs? Maybe a couple, like "Once in a Lifetime" and "Genius of Love". But I didn't know who the Talking Heads were (or the Tom Tom Club, for that matter), or who David Byrne was. And even though I enjoyed the set, I wouldn't call myself a converted fan now. I liked the concert. I liked the music. But... that's it.
I don't see myself returning to Stop Making Sense, maybe ever. I put those few songs into my "Favorites" playlist on Amazon Music, so I'm sure I'll hear those songs again. But concert films wash over me like a song on the radio. Fun in the moment. But not as soul-grabbing or heart-rending as a good story can be.