Talking Heads' 1984 'Stop Making Sense' returns: 'It's a specialized film,' David Byrne told us at the time

George Varga, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

Same as it ever was?

In 1983, Talking Heads filmed three concerts and a rehearsal at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. The result was the Jonathan Demme-directed 1994 concert film "Stop Making Sense." Four decades later, it is still hailed as a masterpiece.

Now, that masterpiece has been reborn.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of those 1983 L.A. performances, A24 has released an IMAX version of the groundbreaking film with remastered sound.

It showcases anew the members of Talking Heads, one of the most acclaimed and inventive rock-and-beyond bands of the 1980s and late 1970s.

The group acrimoniously split up 1991, reunited for its 2002 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then split up again — for 21 years.


Since then, its influence has been heard in the music of such disparate artists as Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, LCD Soundsystem and Radiohead. whose name was inspired by the title of a 1986 Talking Heads song. The band's influence is also evident in the work of St. Vincent, who in 2012 recorded an album and toured with head Head David Byrne.

Earlier this month, the former key members of Talking Heads — singer-guitarist David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth, drummer Chris Frantz and guitarist-keyboardist Jerry Harrison — reunited to attend a Toronto Film Festival screening of the new and improved "Stop Making Sense." Afterwards, the band members — all now in their early 70s — sat down together to do a live Q&A, followed by more group interviews in New York.

No new Talking Heads tour or album has been announced, or is expected. Given the fractious history of the long dormant band, that may be for the best.

Either way, the welcome return of "Stop Making Sense" makes it an opportune time to revisit our early 1985 interview with Byrne about the film. It opens countywide Friday in standard, non-IMAX film form.


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