Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stop Making Sense (Blu-Ray)

For the 25th anniversary of its release, the Blu-Ray version of the Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense (Palm Pictures) is everything its fans would want--and then some. I’ve never been a huge fan of Jonathan Demme’s too-clever directing of this classic Heads show, with too many self-consciously arty camera angles and movements that keep moving away from something or someone just when its starts to get interesting. As frustrating as that is, there’s no denying the superb musicianship on display, from David Byrne’s solo “Psycho Killer” to the joyous full-band rendition of “Take Me to the River.” Blu-Ray gives the group a more vivid visual presence than ever before, and the two surround sound mixes give you the feeling that you’re one of the lucky ones in the crowd. A boatload of extras include two additional songs (“Cities” and “Big Business/I Zimbra”), audio commentary by Demme and all four band members, an hour-long press conference from the 1999 re-release with the four Heads, storyboards and a cockeyed “David Byrne Interviews David Byrne” featurette.
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