Hailed as one of the top concert films of all time, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense should firmly secure the number one slot after this 40th anniversary restoration.
Sadly, Demme died in 2017 so he was unable to see this new version of the Talking Heads’ concert in all its IMAX glory.
I was fortunate enough to see the film at a preview screening forty years ago and remember what a good time we had at the theatre (my then 4-year-old daughter literally danced in the aisles).
So, I know I was in for a good time last night when I saw the film again, this time on an IMAX screen.
Still, I was not prepared for just how much fun it was to experience this film.
For those who may not be up to speed…the film was shot over 4 nights at a venue in Los Angeles with the 4-piece band augmented by keyboard player Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), guitarist Alex Weir, percussionist Steve Scales and backing vocalists Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt.
The film begins with David Byrne on stage with just a boom box, performing the band’s first “hit” Psycho Killer, then each member joins song by song until we get the full lineup getting down to Burning Down The House.
After hearing that, I couldn’t help think that this was indeed, the best band on the planet at that moment in time, caught at their very bestAnd it feels like every musician on stage felt the same way as they all look to be having the time of their lives.
The new IMAX version gives the viewer much more to look at, and it really feels like an authentic concert experience. Just like my 4-year old from 40 years ago, I wanted to jump into the aisles and dance, but cooler heads prevailed.
Revisiting Stop Making Sense gives the viewer a chance to reacquaint themselves with the music of Talking Heads. After so much time it’s easy to take a band like this for granted, but seeing them like this really makes one appreciate what a great band they were. And they were so very funky, particularly Tina Weymouth’s bass playing. Of course this is where we saw Byrne’s “big suit” a star itself.
The four bandmembers also seem to understand this having set aside their differences and reunited for a series of appearances and interviews to help promote the film…the first time they’ve all been seen together since their 2002 Rock & Roll HOF induction.
Of course, we all want to see them get back on stage and make music together again, but the jury’s still out on that one.
In the meantime, do yourself a favour and watch Stop Making Sense on the big screen. The film opens in cinemas around the country today. Click here for tickets and showtimes.
It really does make sense.
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