Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense

Directed by Jonathan Demme, this concert film by the New York New Wave rock band Talking Heads is a continuous rock experience that keeps building, becoming ever more intense and euphoric. In its own terms, the movie is close to perfection. The lead singer, David Byrne, is a stupefying performer who gives the group its modernism—the undertone of repressed hysteria, which he somehow blends with freshness and adventurousness and a driving beat. He designed the stage lighting and the elegantly plain performance-art environment (three screens used for backlit slide projections); there's no glitter, no sleaze. The sound seems better than live sound: it is better—it has been filtered and mixed and fussed over, so that it achieves ideal clarity. The movie was shot during three performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, in December, 1983; the cinematography is by Jordan Cronenweth. Released by Cinecom.

see State of the Art.