Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★


The beauty of STOP MAKING SENSE is that it’s not littered with ancillary effects, obnoxious editing, excessive glamour, or anything of the sort—it is music at its purest. Director Jonathan Demme purposely doesn’t waste effort trying to hide the stagehands slowly assembling set pieces between each song because, well, why bother? We know it has to happen and seeing it take place shouldn’t be a pith of shame or inferiority. Rather than watching an overinflated and highly-edited debauchery of some concert-movie hybrid, it’s like you’ve got a backstage pass to see Talking Heads transform from a one-man show ("Psycho Killer") to a full blown ensemble ("Burnin’ Down the House") piece by piece by piece. And when you’re able to harness the kind of raw energy and confident power that front man David Byrne does, you needn’t worry about such miniscule details. The band has a natural kinetic potency and Jonathan Demme is well aware of this. Long shots, unfiltered frames, and an unabashed knack for capturing a rock band doing what they do best—and that’s captivating enough on its own. Seeing the jubilant enthusiasm and contagious elation on Bryne’s face encompasses everything that made me fall in love with music in the first place. It’s an indescribable compassion that never fades, and <this is a perfect reminder of the allure that lies in truly enjoying what you do, no matter what that might be. Whatever endeavor lies ahead of me, I can only hope to approach it with the same amount of ardor in which David Byrne stomps his feet.

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