Stop Making Sense
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Palm Pictures is proud to present the groundbreaking Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense." This critically acclaimed 15th Anniversary theatrical re-release, has been digitally-remastered, allowing the brilliance of the music and visuals to take full advantage of state-of-the-art technology.
Over the course of three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983, filmmaker Jonathan Demme joined creative forces with cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth and Talking Heads... and miracles occurred. Following a staging concept by singer-guitarist David Byrne, this euphoric concert film transcends that all-too-limited genre to become the greatest film of its kind. A guaranteed cure for anyone's blues, it's a celebration of music that never grows old, fueled by the polyrhythmic pop-funk precision that was a Talking Heads trademark, and lit from within by the geeky supernova that is David Byrne.
The staging--and Demme's filming of it--builds toward an orgasmic release of music, rising from the bare-stage simplicity of Byrne, accompanied only by a boom box on "Psycho Killer," to the ecstatic crescendo of "Burning Down the House," by which time the Heads and additional personnel have all arrived on stage for a performance that seems channeled from heaven for the purpose of universal uplift. (God bless Demme for avoiding shots of the luckiest audience in '80s pop history; its presence is acknowledged, but not at the viewer's expense.) With the deliriously eccentric Byrne as ringleader (pausing mid-concert to emerge in his now-legendary oversized suit), this circus of musical pleasure defies the futility of reductive description; it begs to be experienced, felt in the heart, head, and bones, and held there the way we hold on to cherished memories. On those three nights in December 1983, Talking Heads gave love, life, and joy in generous amounts that years cannot erode, and Demme captured this act of creative goodwill on film with minimalist artistic perfection. Stop Making Sense is an invitation to pleasure that will never wear out its welcome. --Jeff Shannon
- The 15th Anniversary re-release of the live concert film has been digitally re-mixed and re-mastered, featuring three audio mixes in 5.1 Dolby Digital feature film soundtrack, 5.1 studio mix and linear PCM stereo
- Bonus Tracks: "Cities," "I Zimbra"/"Big Business"
- Storyboard-to-Film Comparison
- Original Promotional Trailer & other clips
- David Byrne Self-Interview
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Top customer reviews
Talking Heads was a unique artistic collaborative effort and it shows in all of their work. There can be no doubt.
Some of the performances here are rather simple but the overall concept is brilliant. Maybe the cinematography could have been better.
The bonus track, Big Business/I Zimbra is unique from all the other performances and should have been included in the final cut.
The bonus David Bryne Interview is a joyful work of art and desperately needs to be restored!
A true American masterpiece.
I also very much enjoy the Talking Heads release Storytelling Giant, a collection of music videos. Still waiting for the DVD or BluRay release.
The True Stories film is also quite an experience, truly American.
All this great work from a person born in Scotland, who lived in Canada and America, Mr. David Byrne.
Immigrants are cool.
I think a couple of things convinced me to watch this not the least of which is that it was a Jonathan Demme film which had become a quite celebrated concert film mentioned along with The Last Waltz as brilliant in the genre. The other thing which pushed me is an excellent BBC telecast of David Byrne in the Live At St. Lukes series. I liked that so much I burned it to DVD. So when I say I could watch Stop Making Sense as part of my Amazon Prime membership it was a no brainer.
What I found was a fabulous energetic performance. A really talented tight band that specialized in working a groove as opposed to rocking out. Not that the power wasn’t wholly in the rock idiom, it was just more layered and downright funky. It’s all capped by the brilliant centerpiece, the song Once In A Lifetime, which is a brilliant observation about the many times surreal human condition. As for the film, well the structure is arty and fun which is to say very engaging. It’s just mysterious and dangerous enough to be like an insider’s type thing even if it was a big hit in the day. You simply walk away with the feeling that David Byrne is a talented guy whose vision is unique. Along with groups like the B-52’s Talking Heads made 80’s rock a lot more diverse in an otherwise techno-pop sludge. All in all, Jonathan Demme gave us a great concert film that over twenty years later is still a singular mold breaking piece of art. In fact if Byrne’s padded collar (and everything else) suit isn’t in the Smithsonian it should be cause the R&R Hall of Fame wouldn’t do it justice.
This movie purposefully focuses the viewer's attention onto the musicians. Distractions are minimized or ignored. The stage is black as are most of the instruments (manufacturer's labels are covered.) Wardrobe is all colored from a palette of muted, neutral tones of grey, black and tans. The live audience is rarely heard after the first scene and they are never shone onscreen. Your eyes and ears are freed to engage nothing but the performance.
And THAT, in my opinion, is the uniqueness of this film. Rather than serving as an historical documentation of the performance, the performance is given for the movie audience. The entire concept is, indeed, very avant-garde.
This movie is a tour-de-force and is a must-see!
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