Like any great band or artist, Talking Heads were about more than just a few dozen great songs and albums. Whether by design or by accident, they become an idea. For Elvis, it was smashing cultural boundaries and having a good time, for Radiohead, a solemn prayer for our collective angst. And for Talking Heads, it was a simple but profound statement acceptance of what it is to be human. Talking Heads have a pretty extensive catalogue, from the immaculately produced sonic wizardry of Fear Of Music and Remain In Light, to the funky fresh Talking Heads: 77 and Speaking In Tongues, but, for all intents and purposes, Stop Making Sense is the ultimate Heads experience.
What's on display here is music reached an international audience because it expressed music as a universal language. You see some funky African performers that clearly think this American white dude just wrote the most kickass stuff on planet Earth, and you have these clever little tricks, like a ray of light serendipitously shining on drummer Chris Frantz as he pounds away at the heavenly "Thank You For Sending Me An Angel", and you have David Byrne crying out "Thanks!" to the crowd between songs in much the same tone as you do in your car when someone waves you in at an intersection. They didn't need fancy words to write songs about being afraid of Heaven, or about being "just an animal looking for a home." They took some advanced, college-education musical stuff and made it look simple. They made it look easy. And when you watch David Byrne in his oversized suit fumble around onstage to a hip-hop rendition of one of his songs, you start to realize: It was never that hard being human. Everyone's afraid. No one knows what they're supposed to do with their hands, nor have they been handed a written code on how to maneuver a crowded set of urinals. You didn't sound all that dumb when you went on that diatribe about how there are no real bad guys in the world at your friend's wedding. In fact, most present would say you had a point. No, you didn't happen to sleep in the one day they explained the meaning of life and what happens when we die, and most everything you were told as a kid was some ape's best guess. And that's okay. Because you aren't alone. And never is that more reassuring than when some nerdy guy in an oversized suit with an acoustic guitar is screaming it at you.
Incredible - The cameras manage to capture both the grandiosity of the stage production and the intimacy of the flawless performance, setting a near insurmountable standard for capturing the energy of live footage. David Byrne's antics alone are also reason enough for checking it out.
Stop Making Sense is pure fun and sheer exuberance transferred onto celluloid and perfectly re-created at the other end. Experiencing what Demme and the Talking Heads have crafted with this motion picture makes perfect sense. [Review of re-release]
I never considered The Talking Heads as a truly influential band for me. With the exception of their fourth album; Remain in Light, I rarely listen to them.
Still, that's not a problem for me to appreciate an excellent performance, and this show is in my opinion 100% worthy of the status it has achieved as one of the best live concerts ever recorded.
It's rare when you can bring their own fans, music fans and movie fans together in one project, but this work gives something for everyone.
I loved this as a young Talking Heads fan. I sill think it captures them in their prime and makes for great viewing. It is very much a straight ahead concert flick. Byrne is an energetic, controlled performer. Nicely edited and directed by Jonathan Demme. You can hear the originality (and the connections to some mediocre 1980s music). And who could ever forget the big suit?
Stop Making Sense shows that this movie doesn't need to make sense in order for it to be great. Likely, there's a lot of films that needs to make sense in order for them to look great. All I can say is.... Stop Making Sense, please!
Watching this in the biggest IMAX near me knowing almost nothing about this band, I can confidently say that I am now a fan!
Amazing work on A24 for this 4K restoration. I did some research and this restoration compared to the original Blu Ray is night and day different. Incredible sound, amazing visuals, and such an immersive experience!