Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense

starring Talking Heads

directed by Jonathan Demme

Hail the digital gods, for they rain upon us improved classics, narrowing the gap between theatrical release and lazyboy viewing. This version of Stop Making Sense is “Widescreen” (I guess that’s the DVD term for “letterboxed”) and has been digitally re-mixed and re-mastered. Video and Audio purists may find some comfort in these features, but I have to say that most of added interest in this release comes from the bonus material presented here — extra tracks, commentary from the band and director and (my favorite) a presentation of Byrne’s original storyboards alongside the scenes they inspired.

A video/single of “Psycho Killer” from this film got airplay on radio and the MTV, but it’s sadly vanished from today’s catalog of sanitized new-wave retro. This brings me to the real value of Stop Making Sense , which is as a document of art rock as a minimalist experience and source of “things have really gone downhill haven’t they” chatter. The image of David Byrne jerking around a lone boombox like a big-suited trout freshly pulled from the water is way more visceral than any amount of sex, drugs or Satanism you can lather on that rock and roll.

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