Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★★

"Hi, I got a tape I wanna play."

As a cosmic gift in anticipation of my birth only months later, the venerable Jonathan Demme teamed up with (my favorite band) Talking Heads for Stop Making Sense. Unsurprisingly they came away with the concert film par excellence, nothing short of rock music's greatest outfit doing their thing fifteen times with a brief respite for Tina and Chris to switch to Tom Tom Club-mode. Though actually pieced together from four nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater, the set feels like one long crescendo as more and more sidemen keeping popping on stage to thicken the funky stew being emitted.

Demme proves just the humanist to bring out frontman David Byrne's crazed earnestness on which the whole act rests. Here Byrne comes across as an unknowable demiurge to be certain, but one who at least has a lot of fun. Under his own direction two years later in True Stories, Byrne's ironic distance tends to smother the offbeat vibe. The queen Pauline Kael nailed it in 1984 when she said Stop Making Sense is "close to perfection."

Some stray notes:
-TINA WEYMOUTH MAKING ELIZABETH MOSS FACES
-CHRIS FRANTZ'S TURQUOISE POLO
-STEVE SCALES MUGGING AT CAMERA
-MASS WARDROBE CHANGE FOR "MAKING FLIPPY FLOPPY"
-DAVID BYRNE SINGING NEXT TO LARGE FLOOR LAMP ON "NAIVE MELODY"
-THE GIRLS CAN DO IT TOO, Y'ALL
-HE STILL IS THE GODFATHER OF SOUL, Y'ALL—SO CHECK IT OUT
-OKAY, BYE!
-DAVID BYRNE SO SWEATY IN HUGE SUIT
-KID WITH STUFFED UNICORN

Richard liked these reviews

All