Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★


Stop Making Sense is a recording of a Talking Heads concert, first and foremost. It didn’t really sound all that up my alley, though I’ll accept that Talking Heads made an awful lot of great music in their day. I don’t get music criticism as much as I get film criticism, as an art form or otherwise, but you know what? The music is catchy while the lyrics are well written, the frontman looks like he’s having a good time, the background singers sound phenomenonal...I feel as though that’s more than enough to say Talking Heads were a great when. At least in this moment, with Stop Making Sense being a solid recreation of the moment in which the band was at their most famous, and for that matter I love a good time capsule film, as I’ve mentioned several times in my reviews. But I don’t know, I had heard this was such a great film from so many people, and I really love Jonathan Demme as a director, so I said okay. This is going to be a great film, even though beforehand I don’t really understand why. And I mean...I’m not going to lie and say Stop Making Sense isn’t a really good movie, but I don’t know, a 4.5/5 on Letterboxd? I’m glad y’all can like it that much, but by my count it’s not much different than watching a pro shot streaming live on MTV. It’s good, really good, and a lot of the weight is based on how good Talking Heads were at crafting songs, but...I guess my issue is there’s not as much ambition in the filmmaking as I expected, particularly from Jonathan Demme who I just sang the praises of for nine hundred words in my review of The Silence of the Lambs. He was an amazing director, but something about this musical documentary falls short for me. I definitely needed to lower my expectations even just a little bit.

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