Mudkip Kombucha’s review published on Letterboxd:
Stop Making Sense is absolutely incredible. I didn’t have the highest expectations for it because I thought to myself, “well, how can a concert film be a 5/5? I mean, it can be really good, but a 5/5? I feel like that’s too much.” But from the moment the first song ended, I knew, oh, I knew this was no “concert film”, this was something very special. For 1 hour and 28 minutes I sat and watched, tapping my feet and bobbing me head all the while, and song after song, it never failed to disappoint me. It was the highest quality all the way through. I didn’t know much about The Talking Heads music, I mean, I knew their most popular songs (”Psycho Killer” and “Once in a Life time” really), but that was it. But that might’ve made the experience better. It was brand new music, hitting me song after song with complete 80’s rock goodness. In no time, I was singing along with the songs (thanks, subtitles!) and just having a great time. I think I’ve found a new favorite band.
But no one was having as much fun as lead singing David Byrne had. Boy, did he put on a show. A show, drenched in sweat, of a lifetime, a show you aren’t going to forget. Byrne’s dance moves are some of the greatest there are, they’re up there with Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson. This guy was all over the place for almost the whole show without stop really. He had to change shirts 3, 3 whole times because he was sweating so much. You could see how much fun he was having though, just dancing around the whole time. But, man, he’s dance moves are top tier. I think spastic is the right word to describe them. Sometimes he looks like he’s just tripping over himself and other times he looks like he’s have a seizure. But he can move for sure. Take “Once in a Life” for example, he feels very spastic but it looks really cool. Every time he would say “same as it ever was” he would kinda hit himself in the head and then flip back. It’s hard to explain but it looks really awesome.
But enough of his super sweet dance moves, time to talk about the glorious music of The Talking Heads. From the melancholiness of “Heaven” to the total jam that is “Once in the Lifetime”, and the funky sound of “Girlfriend Is Better” to chill sounding “This Must Be The Place”, who could ask for more? Like I said before, I wasn’t familiar with much their music going into this, but I really think that enhances the experience greatly. Being able to listen to almost all these songs for the first time performed live (well, not really, but you know what I mean). It was incredible. Byrne writes almost all the songs and, as a music expert myself, the lyrics are very good. The lyrics are very strong and when put to music, which he also writes most of the time, make wonderful music.
There is a cover of a Al Green’s song, who I’m a huge fan of (love his music so much, definitely one of my favorites artist.), “Take Me to the River”. And the cover didn’t disappoint, I really enjoyed the rock version of the song. Definitely prefer Al Green’s version, but that’s hard to beat. Still, it was a very nice change of pace. “Swamp” had this weird creeping feel to it, but I sorta liked it. Well, I liked all of them, except “Genius of Love”, but that was probably because I didn’t really like her singing. Plus, the song itself was rather strange.
But I have to mention how the film is made, of course. Directed by Jonathan Demme, director of such classics as “Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia” (neither of which I have seen, but really only hear great things about). He definitely shows his directing skills in this. It’s very well put together, and shot incredibly. I love how it’s shot throughout, makes it very pleasant to look at. There’s many deferent shots to where you get lots of looks at the stage and performers. This is most likely The Talking Heads’ doing, but I also love the use of the backgrounds. If you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about, the red words and sometimes pictures. It was really weird but very interesting to see. It was definitely something new, as I have seen a good handful of concerts. Something else I enjoy a good deal is how the band members and their instruments slowly came out. First song was “Psycho Killer”, which just David Byrne sang by himself, and after that the bassist came out and so on and so forth. It was a nice little addition that I rather enjoyed.
To summarize: Stop Making Sense is a masterpiece that is well worth a watch. From David Byrne’s sweet dance moves, to the incredible music of The Talking Heads, this film was truly packed to the brim with absolutely goodness. If you haven’t seen this, I really cannot recommend it enough. Even if you’re not a fan of their music, there is still a good bit to enjoy here. Take care, everyone!