Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★★

Thought I would write a little on the power of this film.

During this week I have revisited some of my favourite films. Films that make me happy, sad, angry - pretty much any and every emotion you can have. However, none have made me as emotional as I was when I watched Stop Making Sense.

Perhaps it's a little unfair to call this the greatest music film of all time due to Talking Heads being one of my favourite bands, but my love for this film is so much more than the songs playing.

It's the set design: how much the film looks like a theatre stage - each prop and person standing at exactly where they should be. The way Byrne moves around the stage like a chaotic actor experimenting with sound is hilariously perfect, fueled by the very music the band is playing. I know very little about most of the performers here, yet spending 90 minutes with them makes me feel like I know them inside and out.

The camera angles and blocking still blows my mind. Obviously, when shooting a linier fiction film, it can be easy to tell your actors exactly where to stand, but in a concert you cannot exactly yell really loud over the music and tell them they need to step back. Of course, there was direction and staging, however to be that perfect while you're already having to play an instrument and entertain a crowd is insane to me.

As soon as Swamp ends and What A Day That Was opens, it's perfect. The two songs, despite being from completely different concerts, bookend each other like the end of a chapter and a new chapter beginning. The red, dominant lights going to the bright black and white startled me in the best way possible.

Who can forget This Must Be The Place (naive melody)? The minute the lights go up and we see the band so close together, lit only by a lampshade, is enough to make you cry. The use of light to convey the emotions of the song was such a beautiful choice by Demme, one that can feel so warm, and then so scary (the strobe lights on Genius of Love).

There was this constant feeling of melancholy, like I was witnessing something so special that I will never witness. Stop Making Sense is the greatest music film ever, because it's not just music, it's poetic theatre.

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