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Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (1984)

October 16th, 2008 by Maxim · No Comments · 9,665 Views


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Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (1984)Director Jonathan Demma very creatively crafted this film from the footage of several Talking Heads concerts at Los Angeles’ Pantages Theater.

The plot: The staging concept was developed by the lead vocalist of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, the band’s front-man. It begins with him walking out on an absolutely empty stage with nothing but an acoustic guitar in his hand and a boom box that plays a simple percussion pattern. With each song, another member of the band or a backup singer walks out and joins him on the stage, while stage crew continues to bring ore and more musical instruments out on the stage. The concert build up to explosive finale.

The good: I never heard a live concert of Talking Heads and knew very little about the band. From the first song I was captivated by the staging concept, and I could not take my eyes off the screen till the end of the movie. I always appreciated shows made with simplicity, where band members just sing their hearts out. Vocal capabilities of David Byrne are not particularly outstanding, and the guy is rather oddly-looking, but his performance is so emotionally charged that it ignites the audience… and me – I almost could not stay seated from about 3rd of 4th tune through the rest of the show.

Great extras on the DVD. The movie also looks good when streamed from Netflix, but you don’t get DVD extras this way.

The bad: almost no shots of the audience. I wish I can see and hear more of the audience’s reaction. No backstage footage.

Similar movies: “Pete Townshend- Deep End Live”, “Neil Young: Heart of Gold”, “John Fogerty- Premonition”

DVD features:

  • Stereo, Dolby 5.1 mix and Dolby 5.1 remix
  • Full commentary from all the Talking Heads (David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison) and director Jonathan Demme!!!
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Discography
  • Biographies
  • David Byrne interviews himself – under veriety of guises (Obsolutely Bizarre!)
  • Three bonus songs!!! (although in worse video quality)

The summary: one of the best live concerts you can find on DVD with great extras!

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Rated 5/5 on Oct 16 2008
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Tags: DVD · Documentary · Movies · Musicals · USA

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