Sunday, April 8, 2007

Stop Making Sense (1984, Jonathan Demme)

"An innovative concert movie for the rock group The Talking Heads"

I have never been that big of a Talking Heads fan. I only knew 3 songs from them and that was about it. I had long heard that they were an amazing band and one of the best things to come out of the 80's but I just never had that certain urge to hear and see more of their stuff.

Another thing that I had heard a lot about was their concert film, Stop Making Sense. This one along with The Last Waltz and Woodstock seem to top every "best concert films" list I have ever seen and Stop Making Sense and The Last Waltz seem to fight eachother for the top spot in those lists. A couple of nights ago I stumbled upon Stop Making Sense in a used DVD bin and decided to blind buy it and see what all the fuss was about.

Before the first solo performance with a boombox was over I knew that I was going to watch one amazing film. I stress the word film and not "concert film" because I think that this one is so good that it surpasses it's sub genre. Sure, it's a band doing a concert but there is much more to it. Although, the thing is that there really is not much more to it....or is there? Here lies the genius of watching Stop Making Sense.

When your watching the film at first it feels like a straight forward concert but as the band slowly begins to form and the performances become more and more eccentric and intense you get a certain feeling that you are no longer watching something but experiencing something. It seems that it's no accident and the film, as well as the bands performance, is designed like this. It truly feels as if you go on a weird journey through the mind of David Byrne and The Talking Heads. When it's over you are left speechless at what you saw. Well, at least I was.

The only flaw I can say the film has is that it feels too short. Sure, there is the odd song here and there that aren't so great but David Byrne is so gloriously eccentric and crazy that you are smiling your way through every song. If anything watch this one just to see him. He is by far one of the greatest lead singers I have ever seen. Watch it for his romantic dance with a lamp or his marathons around the stage or just for the infamous big suit. Seriously, just watch it to see him. No words can describe how awesome it is to watch him go wild in every song.

After watching Stop Making Sense I can see what all the fuss is about. It's something that you won't really get until you watch it and when you do you will somehow understand it's odd brilliance.

- ****

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