David Byrne double feature will get weird at the Music Hall with “Stop Making Sense” and “True Stories”


Burning Down the House

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The Charleston Music Hall is ready to embark on their next film endeavor by presenting a David Byrne double feature: True Stories and Stop Making Sense.

Both films can be viewed on August 30. True Stories will be shown at 6:30 p.m., $8. Stop Making Sense will be shown at 8:30 p.m., $8. A film pass for both is available for $10.

Stop Making Sense (1984) is a choreographed concert directed by Jonathan Demme. In the beginning of the film, Byrne walks out on stage with his guitar strapped to his back and a boom box, which begins the beat of “Psycho Killer.” As the film progresses, it warps into a wonderfully structured and noteworthy concert by adding a new installment to each song, track by track. However, listening to the live album does not do it justice because Byrne’s energy and presence can be seen at full magnitude in the film.

Multiple film and music critics have praised this film for its aesthetics and format.

“The film is good to look at,” Roger Ebert wrote in his 1984 review. “The director is Jonathan Demme (Melvin and Howard), making his first concert film, and essentially using the visuals of the Talking Heads rather than creating his own.”

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The other film, True Stories (1986), gives Byrne more of a creative direction due to the commercial success of Stop Making Sense. The film was directed by Byrne and stars John Goodman, playing a country-western singer, and John Ingle, as a conspiracy theorist preacher. The film is known to be a cult classic by Byrne’s fans, and only emphasizes the creative and daring approaches to music that he makes so fluently eloquent.

Byrne, lead singer of ‘80s new wave group the Talking Heads, is widely regarded to be a pioneer and a music icon of the 20th century. In his heyday, he took it upon himself to create two films that feature a plentiful amount of Talking Heads music that soars across their entire discography, including songs from albums such as Talking Heads 77, Speaking in Tongues, and Remain in Light.

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