Stop Making Sense


Celebrate the career of the late, great director Jonathan Demme at a rocking screening of his legendary Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense!  PLUS! Enjoy a special pre-show screening of a vintage, captured-live Q&A featuring Jonathan Demme, David Byrne and New York Times film critic, Janet Maslin!  Oh yes, there will be dancing …

Make way for the return of The Big Suit! Stop Making Sense marks the perfect combo of filmmaker and band as Jonathan Demme captures on film the singular magic of the Talking Heads in what is widely considered to be one of the greatest rock concert films ever made. Shot over the course of three action-packed nights at Hollywood’s historic Pantages Theater in December 1983, as the group was touring to promote their new album Speaking in Tongues, Stop Making Sense brilliantly captures the legendary Talking Heads at the height of their funky/punky/new wave power, and today, over 30 years after its original release, the film has lost none of its rhythmic power and charisma, remaining a rich model of what a music film can (and should) be.

“Exuberant … exhilarating … the overwhelming impression throughout Stop Making Sense is of enormous energy, of life being lived at a joyous high.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Flaunting David Byrne’s famous “Big Suit” – in which the geek-ish singer cavorts like a 12-year-old caught in his dad’s work clothes – the film reels from bright, funk-influenced danceables (“Life During Wartime,” “Take Me to the River”) to austere and atmospheric numbers such as the moving “Heaven” and the kinky “Psycho Killer.” Director Demme (coming off the Oscar-winning success of Melvin and Howard) generously allows his roaming camera to focus on the stage action, blissfully swimming amongst the band members – Talking Heads Jerry Harrison, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and David Byrne, along with Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, percussionist Steve Scales and vocalists Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt – and never forgetting that a concert film should be about the music, nothing more and nothing less. What emerges is a thrilling blast of pure pop bliss, and what ends up on screen says as much about the director’s impeccable instincts as it does about the rocking music of The Talking Heads themselves. (Dir. by Jonathan Demme, 1984, USA, 88 mins., Not Rated)