Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense (the movie) Thoughts?

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I am curious as to ILMers thoughts on this...apologies if there is an existing thread but only seems to be one for the album. I must say that I agree with someone in the album discussion noted the harshness of the keyboard sounds, but visually it is pretty amazing--it's like the avant-garde version of Jane Fonda's workout

Maybe ILMers like to be contrarian about this one?

iago g., Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

maybe they do, but not me. i think it's great, i love the way the band builds up one player at a time, i love the long careful shots of individual players, the movie's really attuned to the dynamics of the songs and the relationships between the different band members and all that. i haven't seen it in years, i should watch it again. (it was great to see in a theater with a good sound system.)

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

Haven't seen it in years, loved it back then though. The version of "Heaven" has really strong emotional resonance for me, so much so that it's difficult to listen to.

neither good nor bad, just a kid like you (unperson), Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

Actually it's great. I saw it in the theater when it came out, at a time when the Heads were over-hyped. It looked fabulous on the big screen.

US EEL (u s steel), Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's a really good post-Xmas pick me up. Must be incredible in a movie theater with good sound...

iago g., Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

Cliched shit.

Domnesty International (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 27 December 2009 02:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Cliched shit.

― Domnesty International (Noodle Vague)

Our first contrarian appears! Merry Christmas, sunshine...tell us how you REALLY feel though?

iago g., Sunday, 27 December 2009 03:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Saw it in a theater when it came out. Great film, just wish it featured a band that I liked better. Right now I'm trying to imagine the same thing done with Prince...

dlp9001, Sunday, 27 December 2009 03:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

Loved it as well, in fact I have it queued up because I believe there's a track unique to the DVD.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 27 December 2009 05:13 (seven years ago) Permalink

Naive Melody = 1000000x better than on record (synth bass iirc?)
Genius Of Love - Destroy. Almost made me disown my <3 4 it.

┌∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ (Steve Shasta), Sunday, 27 December 2009 05:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

Good film, but not the best document of them in concert.

America's Next Most Disabled Ballerina (WmC), Sunday, 27 December 2009 05:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

First time I saw it, everyone in the room was applauding after every tune by the third song, and we were all dancing by the end. The Tom Tom Club bit just kills the momentum, though, doesn't it?

I was in a drop-D metal band we called Requiem (staggerlee), Sunday, 27 December 2009 05:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

i have somehow blocked out "genius of love" from my memory of the movie. maybe i went to the bathroom then or something.

hellzapoppa (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 27 December 2009 06:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

Loved it when it came out, still liked it a lot on a subsequent viewing a couple years later, was much less enamoured when I watched it a third time approx a dozen years later. Byrne seemed funny and interesting initially, distracting and annoying later down the road. Oddly, this is pretty much what I say now about virtually all Talking Heads music after Remain in Light also -- can only take so much of the singer.

Still think Bernie Worrell sounds amazing in the movie, as do the band generally, and "Naive Melody" really is pretty great (it's the only song from that album I still listen to also).

sw00ds, Sunday, 27 December 2009 06:22 (seven years ago) Permalink

I LOVE the Tom Tom Club but I don't think they really worked as a live entity. Otherwise this film rules.

filthy dylan, Sunday, 27 December 2009 06:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

Found a Job is awesome in the film.

Wax Cat, Sunday, 27 December 2009 10:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

love the film. divorced of the visuals it's the live talking heads record that works best to sing along to emptyheadedly, which is admittedly not really what i want out of the talking heads nine/ten times i listen to them

thomp, Sunday, 27 December 2009 11:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

Right now I'm trying to imagine the same thing done with Prince...

xpost: there is one called Prince - Sign o' the times that i have on vhs and it's outrageous!

i'm not a huge fan of the Heads' big band sound, so i guess i prefer the first half of stop making sense

pobrecito (outdoor_miner), Sunday, 27 December 2009 16:48 (seven years ago) Permalink

The instrumental interplay in the last forty seconds of "Found a Job" -- the first and only time the original quartet play in the film -- is the definition of a confident groove.

Hell is other people. In an ILE film forum. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 27 December 2009 16:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, musically I prefer the Adrian Belew-era Heads, but Stop Making Sense is still one of the best concert films ever ... I think it captures perfectly the interplay of a great group of musicians -- not as easy a task as it might seem. You can't just point the camera and hit record. And I always find Byrne's lamp dance on This Must Be The Place weirdly touching.

tylerw, Sunday, 27 December 2009 17:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

I remember once seeing an interview with David Byrne talking about the film, and he mentioned specifically wanting black backing singers for it, and I thought "can you legally specify that you want backing singers of a particular ethnicity?".

The New Dirty Vicar, Monday, 28 December 2009 14:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

Went to a screening of it once, everybody took a bathroom break at the same time. Poor Tom Tom Club!

Megadeth Panel (Ówen P.), Monday, 28 December 2009 15:14 (seven years ago) Permalink

gr8

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Monday, 28 December 2009 15:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's super good (minus the TTC). I have a great DVD of the Heads live in Rome, with Belew, a TV broadcast, but it has this annoying habit of zooming in on, like, the vibrating bass drum head while Belew is soloing.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 28 December 2009 15:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

The only bitch about the DVD is that it doesn't include (as the VHS copy I still own does) "Cities" and "Big Business/I Zimbra" in their proper sequence.

Hell is other people. In an ILE film forum. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 28 December 2009 15:19 (seven years ago) Permalink

but it has this annoying habit of zooming in on, like, the vibrating bass drum head
or zooming in on weymouth's ass

nostragaaaawddamnus (Hunt3r), Monday, 28 December 2009 15:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

but it has this annoying habit of zooming in on, like, the vibrating bass drum head
or zooming in on weymouth's ass

I think Berlusconi shot this one

iago g., Monday, 28 December 2009 18:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that clip is a perfect example! It's almost as if Belew had it in his contract that they weren't allowed to depict any Belewtronics in action. And when in doubt, pan for flesh.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 28 December 2009 18:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

coupla months ago i was in a coffee shop next to zion np and there was a photocopy flyer for an adrian belew show somewhere near the middle of nowhere. rei style dude in front of me says "adrian blew is playing" answered by clone of guy "who the hell is adrian blew?" "no idea, sounds familiar tho." i then asked a friend of mine if he knew who adrian belew was and he said "no." ;_;

nostragaaaawddamnus (Hunt3r), Monday, 28 December 2009 19:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

that clip is great! i think i have the audio of that show. man, what a fun band.

tylerw, Monday, 28 December 2009 20:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

This movie is a prime example of the good influence of performance art on 1980s pop culture. The "Once in a Lifetime" chopping gestures are pure Robert Wilson; the whole night has such a deliberate structure, from solo to full band; the multimedia, especially the triptychs with "Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)" reflect Laurie Anderson's United States Live.

My senior year of high school, the Uptown in Minneapolis showed this on Friday nights at midnight for a few months, and everyone was welcome to dance.

The Hood Won't Jump (Eazy), Monday, 28 December 2009 20:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

I was lucky enough to be in the audience when this was filmed at the Pantages. (I also saw them at the Pacific Amp. on this tour). A blue-ray version of the movie was just released in October and this might just push me into getting one.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 28 December 2009 21:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

The song 'Big Business', is there a studio recording of it?

Ismael Klata, Monday, 28 December 2009 23:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's on Byrne's score for The Catherine Wheel, his first (and best) solo album.

Hell is other people. In an ILE film forum. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 28 December 2009 23:17 (seven years ago) Permalink

Didn't Toni Basil choreograph and co-direct the "Once in a Lifetime" video? Who choreographed/staged "Stop Making Sense?" It's all too rare when a major act actually stages (with a capital "S") a show. Peter Gabriel had Robert Lepage do it for him in '93, and that show sure looked cool.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 28 December 2009 23:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

thanks xp

Ismael Klata, Monday, 28 December 2009 23:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

hmm dunno why that didn't embed correctly...?

it is amazing

Here is a tasty coconut. Sorry for my earlier harshness. (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 20:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah i love it.

also great, from 2 years previous:

for anyone who cares the whole never-repeated-and-unavailable-on-dvd-or-vhs film 'once in a lifetime' made for channel 4 UK telly is also up on You Tube in full.
from user http://www.youtube.com/user/33threekings

much as i love them i never quite understand how they got so big so fast, like i mean WEMBLEY big.

piscesx, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 20:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

whoah totally don't recognize that song - was there ever a studio version of that?

Here is a tasty coconut. Sorry for my earlier harshness. (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

It's on The Catherine Wheel, which you should really buy, Shakey; it's Byrne's best solo album. The home of "Big Business" and "What A Day That Was."

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

much as i love them i never quite understand how they got so big so fast, like i mean WEMBLEY big.

The old-fashioned way: each album outsold its predecessor, until they scored a top ten single in 1983 and boom.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh right! shit I have been on a huge Byrne/TH kick lately and completely forgot to dig that one up - thx for the reminder

Here is a tasty coconut. Sorry for my earlier harshness. (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

this is my favourite movie i own. i think i've almost wept whilst watching it at points. it's when you realise that there are 9 people playing the most awesomahj, funkiest, tightest, most powerful music of the 80s AND dancing choreographically AND singing AND probably all high on all kinds of chalky substances. The bit when Byrne takes off and runs full pelt round the stage during the breakdown of (I think it's "Life During Wartime"), and just manages to get back and catch his breath before the big finale. The bit where he looks like Dracula waking up in "Swamp". The incredible mic-stand tricks. The jerky dance during "Psycho Killer". Fucking "Cross-Eyed And Painless".

Lots of people tell me that it's a flawed film because, I don't know, they say parts of it might be dubbed or edited. I don't listen to em.

village idiot (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

btw, piscesx whatever you linked to, it wasn't "Once In A Lifetime", it was some house music

village idiot (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

Lots of people tell me that it's a flawed film because, I don't know, they say parts of it might be dubbed or edited.

So how are other films made then?

this is my favourite movie i own. i think i've almost wept whilst watching it at points. it's when you realise that there are 9 people playing the most awesomahj, funkiest, tightest, most powerful music of the 80s AND dancing choreographically AND singing AND probably all high on all kinds of chalky substances.

I won't say it's my favorite movie, but when it's on it feels like my favorite movie.

Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's definitely one of my favorite live movies.

even though it contains legwarmers

Here is a tasty coconut. Sorry for my earlier harshness. (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 21:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

dog latin, the doc clips are in that users videos. scroll down.

brotherlovesdub, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 22:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

btw, piscesx whatever you linked to, it wasn't "Once In A Lifetime", it was some house music

― village idiot (dog latin), Wednesday, 19 May 2010 22:37 (29 minutes ago) Bookmark

no that's the user who has the movie. u gotta search his files in the bit that says 'search' on the right then they all come up neatly.
or alternatively just search Talking Heads Wembley on You Tube.

piscesx, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 22:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

Getting ready to see this at a free screening in a city park amphitheater!

Randall "Humble" Pie (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 15 August 2014 01:20 (two years ago) Permalink

have the best time! seeing this at the bagdad, dancing in the aisles and down at the front etc, was a high point of my portland tenure. unspeakably beautiful movie.

difficult listening hour, Friday, 15 August 2014 01:39 (two years ago) Permalink

Best film of '84.

I saw this for the hundredth time 11 years ago at a beach screening. People took their shoes off and danced on the sand.

guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 August 2014 01:41 (two years ago) Permalink

It was wonderful! The venue also hosts live music fairly often (the Lowrider Band--aka 4/5s of the surviving members of War--is appearing tomorrow) so got the audio pumped through a full concert P.A. which is really the only way to fly with something like this.

Randall "Humble" Pie (C. Grisso/McCain), Friday, 15 August 2014 04:05 (two years ago) Permalink

would love to see it through a concert PA, sounds amazing.

the Laserdisc is meant to have the best version of the soundtrack. anyone ever hear that?

piscesx, Friday, 15 August 2014 08:08 (two years ago) Permalink

any uk screenings we know of?

3kDk (dog latin), Friday, 15 August 2014 09:50 (two years ago) Permalink

seems Leeds is the only one so far. check this

The Victoria Hall’s normal stall seating will be replaced with new festival-style seating especially for the occasion, to create a relaxed and celebratory atmosphere, and there will be a range of drinks from different vendors to choose from. Once in a Lifetime will feature the UK Premiere of a brand new digital print of the legendary Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense (1984)

http://www.leedsfilm.com/news/liff28-presents-lifetime/

piscesx, Friday, 15 August 2014 10:29 (two years ago) Permalink

sounds absolutely lovely although Leeds is a bit of a trek from where I'm standing. Hopefully they'll do something a bit further down south.

3kDk (dog latin), Friday, 15 August 2014 10:33 (two years ago) Permalink

They've been screening this at SIFF Uptown in Seattle. Wife and I took a friend of ours to see it for the first time. Took about four songs until everyone was clapping and hollering, though the TTC sure put a temporary stop to things. Seeing this through a concert PA must be a revelation.

I would love to see a double feature with True Stories.

Ryan, Friday, 15 August 2014 18:08 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

rewatched last night

big suit was not as big as i thought

Supercreditor (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 16 May 2017 20:50 (one week ago) Permalink


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