THE concert movie. Part concert, part theatre, and of course part cinema, Stop Making Sense is director Jonathan Demme’s film concert of a brilliant performance by the Talking Heads. Staged and choreographed by David Byrne, the film is still an amazing wake-up call about what is possible for a pop concert, a pop group, and a pop film to do. Metro Cinema brings the film to us as part of their Music Docs series on Tuesday, November 6th.
Simple actions and mundane objects transmute the familiar rock-concert motions into something surprisingly new, encouraging expanded behaviour not only from the performers and the audience but also the technical crew and the stage itself. Sometimes it takes hold of you and you dance ecstatic; sometimes the voice comes down at you evangelical and the collective eye is struck inward; sometimes everyone just basks in the warmth of sharing some thing with other people.
Stop Making Sense reconfigures the rock concert into a narrative which tells the story of the band, personally and sonically. New players are introduced in each new song, so we get to know each person and each new sound individually. The music and the staging build into a crescendo that sneaks in sooner than you think and blossoms bigger than you expect – the show starts with one performer onstage and there are nearly forty people for the final curtain-call.
And of course there’s the bit with the lamp, which is single most tender and heartfelt moment put to celluloid in the name of pop music. It’s like “60 Minutes” on acid.
Tuesday, November 6th, 9:15 pm, Metro Cinema. More info here.