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30 Years Ago: Talking Heads Premieres ‘Stop Making Sense’ [Video]

Thirty years ago one of the best concert films of all time premiered at the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF).

In spring 1984, the Talking Heads released their concert film “Stop Making Sense.” Directed by Oscar winning director Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), the movie was filmed over three nights at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater while the Talking Heads were on tour to promote their latest release, “Speaking in Tongues.”

This movie was pretty much life changing for me. Well, OK, maybe that’s an overstatement, but the movie definitely left its mark on me!

It was my first real introduction to the wackiness and genius of David Byrne and the Talking Heads.

This is what was said by San Francisco International Film Festival reported about the premiere:

The lights dimmed and the four-track digital stereo sound (the first time ever used on film) filled the theater, but “no one anticipated the pandemonium that would break out when The Heads traipsed onscreen,” Glenn Lovell wrote in The San Jose Mercury News. “Within 15 minutes, hundreds of fans were charging down the aisle to get as close as possible to the jumping, marching, stumbling, twitching screen image of the man of the hour: lead singer David Byrne. (The real Byrne—a skinny, painfully shy guy—went basically unnoticed in the audience).


If you’ve never seen the film, do yourself a favor and check it out.

The film’s available on DVD and BluRay, and you can also stream the full film on YouTube.

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