Fri, Oct 20 at 7:30 ♦ Sat, Oct 21 at 4:30 and 7:30 ♦ Sun, Oct 22 at 4:30 and 7:30 ♦ IU Radio & Television Theater ♦ Purchase tickets
The song is “Psycho Killer,” and the movie is Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme. Four decades later, we live in a culture shaped by all of them.
The film has been restored and is being re-released to coincides with the band’s 40th anniversary and their reunion at the Toronto Film Festival.
Stop Making Sense didn’t invent the concert film; when we first screened it in 1983, the rockumentary was already a staple of midnight movies and film studies courses, with Don’t Look Back and Gimme Shelter having shaped the form. But Demme (Something Wild, Silence of the Lambs) perfected it, working with Byrne and bandmates Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth to create the ideal visual representation of a band built on precision and minimalism.
It starts with the boombox. It ends in ecstasy, with a magnificent cover of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” that somehow recalibrates the song’s gospel glory into a plea for another sort of release. Stop Making Sense is a master class in how to shoot live performance, as Jonathan Demme and Blade Runner cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth strip the Talking Heads down to their essential parts and then fill everything back in, mindful of David Byrne’s meticulous staging but also taking full advantage of the cinematic possibilities.
Hold tight, cool babies.
Can’t make it to any of our October screenings? You have one more chance. Stop Making Sense will also be shown at the IU Cinema on Thursday, Nov 16, 7 pm; $5 Students/$8 General Admission