Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense

Infobox Film
name = Stop Making Sense

caption = 15th Anniversery Re-Release poster
director = Jonathan Demme
producer = Gary Goetzman
Gary Kurfirst
writer = Talking Heads
Jonathan Demme
starring = Talking Heads
music = Talking Heads
cinematography = Jordan Cronenweth
editing =
distributor = Palm Pictures
released = April 24, 1984
runtime = 88 minutes
rating =
country = USA
awards = NSFC - Best Documentary
language = English
budget = $1,200,000 USD
preceded_by =
followed_by =
amg_id = 1:46972
imdb_id = 0088178

"Stop Making Sense" (1984) is a highly acclaimed concert movie featuring Talking Heads live on stage. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it was shot over three nights in December 1983, as the group was touring to promote their new album "Speaking in Tongues". The movie is notable for being the first made entirely utilizing digital audio techniques. The band raised the budget of $1.2 million themselves.

The movie

The movie begins with the opening credits, utilising a style similar to Stanley Kubrick's "" (the movie trailer also makes references to "Dr. Strangelove"). Title designer Pablo Ferro was responsible for both title sequences.

Lead singer David Byrne walks on to a bare stage (seen from the feet only initially) with a portable cassette tape player and an acoustic guitar. He introduces "Psycho Killer" by saying he wants to play a cassette tape, presumably from the boom box. In reality, the tick-tock drum machine was a Roland TR-808 played from the mixing board. Towards the end of the song, Byrne begins to "stumble" all around the stage at certain points.

With each successive song, Byrne is cumulatively joined onstage by each core member of the band: first by Tina Weymouth for "Heaven," second by Chris Frantz for "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel," and third by Jerry Harrison for "Found a Job." Performance equipment is gradually wheeled out and wired up to the bare stage between and throughout the performances, as Talking Heads continue to be augmented by several additional musicians, most of whom had extensive experience in funk: back-up singers Edna Holt and Lynn Mabry (a.k.a. The Brides of Funkenstein), keyboardist Bernie Worrell (formerly of Parliament-Funkadelic), percussionist Steve Scales, and guitarist Alex Weir (of The Brothers Johnson). The first song to feature the entire lineup is "Burning Down The House", although the original 1985 RCA/Columbia Home Video release (which featured three additional songs in two performances edited into the film) has the entire band (minus Worrell) performing "Cities" before this song. Byrne also leaves the stage at one point, to allow the Weymouth-Frantz led side-band the Tom Tom Club to perform their song "Genius of Love" (The 1999 re-release of the film featured alternate 'rap' lines by Chris Frantz to remove the cocaine reference, "snow white", featured in the original release).

The movie is also notable for Byrne's "big suit", an absurdly oversized business suit he dons late in the concert for the song "Girlfriend is Better" (which gave the movie its title from one of its lyrics). The suit was partly inspired by Noh theatre styles, and became an icon not only of the film, but of Byrne himself.

This concert film is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of the genre.


The movie is notably different from many other rock and roll concert movies:

*It contains no audience shots (and applause sounds are much less audible than usual) until the very end, during the performance of "Crosseyed and Painless." According to David Byrne's comments on the DVD commentary, this is intended to enable the viewer to form their own opinion about the performance, which he hoped would be confirmed by the end sequence. The only other time the audience appears on film is during wide shots and whenever the camera is at the back of the stage.
*Byrne wanted no colored lights to illuminate the performers. This led to some unusual lighting methods being used for each song.
*Byrne wanted as few distractions as possible onstage. Water bottles were not allowed, and most props were painted with a black matte to avoid reflecting light.
*Unlike many concert films/videos which use "MTV-style" quick-cut editing techniques, much of "Stop Making Sense" uses lengthy camera shots to allow the viewer to examine the performances and onstage interaction. The performance of "Once In A Lifetime" consists of a single shot for almost 75% of the song. There are no close-ups of musicians performing guitar solos, rather full-figure or upper-body shots.

et lists

Not all songs from the show were featured in the film. For example, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on August 3, 1983 and at Berkeley on September 2, 1983, Talking Heads performed the following songs:

Set 1
Psycho Killer
Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
Love → Building On Fire (Love Goes To Building On Fire)
The Book I Read
Slippery People
Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open)
Burning Down The House
Life During Wartime

Set 2
Making Flippy Floppy
What A Day That Was
This Must be the Place (Naïve Melody)
Once In A Lifetime
Big Business / I Zimbra
Houses In Motion
Genius Of Love (as Tom Tom Club)
Girlfriend Is Better
Take Me To The River
Crosseyed And Painless

In addition, "Pull Up The Roots" was performed at the University Of Vermont on October 1, 1983.

Some performances in the film were shortened in the editing stage. The "Cities" out-take removes one complete verse and chorus.


The movie version of "Once in a Lifetime" was released as a single and also appeared on the opening credits to the 1986 movie "Down and Out in Beverly Hills". Also, in Europe, "Slippery People" became a big single, appearing on a single-disc greatest hits album released in 1991. Occasionally, radio stations will play the film's version of "Life During Wartime".

When the film was first released on home video, the songs "I Zimbra", "Big Business", and "Cities" were restored to the performance, thus forming what was dubbed as the "special edition" of the film. In the 1999 re-release, these songs were not part of the programme. Subsequent video and DVD releases have placed these after the film in an unrestored full-frame version.

"Weird Al" Yankovic's 1989 music video for the title song from the motion picture "UHF" features brief clips of Yankovic as David Byrne in his 'big suit'. He also mimicked footage from Talking Heads original video for "Once In A Lifetime". Yankovic also uses the suit in live shows, when performing "Dog Eat Dog", a Talking Heads style-parody.

On "Saturday Night Live" on November 3, 1984, Rich Hall appeared in an "SNL Fashion Report" wearing the big suit and parodying "Once In A Lifetime" and "Life During Wartime".

The 18th episode of the 14th season of "The Simpsons", "Dude, Where's My Ranch?," starred Byrne as himself, and at one point in the episode, he dons the big suit once again, this time with Homer Simpson in it with him.

The film is currently available on widescreen DVD, and VHS in both fullscreen and widescreen versions. A DVD version of it was given away in the British Sunday newspaper "The Observer" on Sunday, October 7, 2007.


See "Stop Making Sense".

External links

* [ 1999 Official re-release website]
*imdb title|id=0088178|title=Stop Making Sense
*" [ Stop Making Sense] " at Rotten Tomatoes
* [ LA Weekly interview with Jonathan Demme on the making of "Stop Making Sense"]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stop Making Sense — est un film américain réalisé par Jonathan Demme et produit par Gary Goetzman, sorti en 1984. Sommaire 1 Synopsis 2 Playlist 3 Fiche technique 4 Dis …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Stop Making Sense —    Documentaire de Jonathan Demme.   Pays: États Unis   Date de sortie: 1984   Technique: couleurs   Durée: 1 h 28    Résumé    Reportage sur le groupe Talking Heads en concert à Hollywood en décembre 83. Ses effets de scène et son originalité… …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Stop Making Sense — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Stop Making Sense Produktionsland USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Stop Making Sense (album) — Infobox Album Name = Stop Making Sense Type = soundtrack Artist = Talking Heads Released = start date|1984|10|15 Recorded = start date|1983|12 at The Pantages Theatre, Hollywood Genre = Soundtrack Length = 39:37 (original) 46:27 (cassette and CD) …   Wikipedia

  • Making The Band SWHS — is a reality TV series in which South Windsor High School students compete to form a dynamic vocal pop band. The show’s first season premiered in simulcast on January 14, 2008 on Local Public Access Television and iTunes. Since then, the series… …   Wikipedia

  • Making a Stand — Arrested Development episode Episode no. Season 3 Episode 8 Directed by Peter Lauer Written by …   Wikipedia

  • Consensus decision-making — is a group decision making process that seeks the consent, not necessarily the agreement, of participants and the resolution of objections. Consensus is defined by Merriam Webster as, first, general agreement, and second, group solidarity of… …   Wikipedia

  • One Day It'll All Make Sense — Studio album by Common Released September 30, 1997 …   Wikipedia

  • All-way stop — An all way stop is an intersection system used predominantly in the United States of America, Canada and South Africa where traffic approaching it from all directions is required to stop before proceeding through the intersection. Such… …   Wikipedia

  • School bus traffic stop laws — School bus stop laws vary by locale and there is controversy regarding them and school bus safety. chool bus stop laws in the United States and Canada Jurisdictions in the United States (including overseas territories) and Canada have adopted… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”