Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★★

Is it unfair to say this is the greatest film on music ever made? True, one could argue that a narrative portrayal of that art is more difficult than a film of a concert, yet this is no mere concert film. I'm likely biased as a big Talking Heads fan, yet no other film has the sheer vitality and joy that bursts out of the screen in virtually every frame, due to both the filmmaking prowess and to the performance, which is both tight and loose at the same time, and above all completely and totally alive.

Fundamentally, this is a film about collaboration, and how such collaboration can result in something even greater than the sum of their creative parts. It is present in the music itself, as the ramping up from Byrne solo to a 9 piece band increases the propulsion of the film, and in the filmmaking. Talking Heads and Demme collaborate to create a singular, truly artistic way to show the act of music making, with wonderful, stylized lighting, camera angles and movement that emphasize the performers, and wonderful long takes.

This is a film that is almost intoxicated on the possibilities of music and, indeed, of music on film, and an absolute joy to watch.

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