75. “Stop Making Sense”, Jonathan Demme (1984)

Part of The 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list.

Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense

dir. Jonathan Demme (1984) cin. Jordan Cronenweth with The Talking Heads

In 100 words: What? A concert movie on this list? When it’s shot with such vigor and electricity? When Demme subtly shifts the mise-en-scene in each frame to make them more interesting? When the choreography of each scene builds astonishingly like a live-action art project? When David Byrne proves just how creative, how loony, and how tireless he is at providing the best damn time for his concertgoers, embracing his weirdness and his lanky frame to express his songs’ brainy lyrics astutely? When the film feels utterly cinematic and vital but still capture the performance and feel of a concert? Well, why not?

Other Movies for Context: I’ve really not seen other concert movies, but I’ve seen Jonathan Demme movies. I adore The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and it was informative of how I viewed cinema when I was in middle school. Beloved (1998) was an interesting movie–Demme found ways to film something cinematic but too literate to really make sense, and it happens to be my favorite novel ever. Rachel Getting Married (2008)  is pretty magnificent too, and it has the same vitality as this film. Lastly, Ricki and the Flash (2015) had a lot of great music, even if the plot was kind of thin.

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