Jonathan Demme’s 'Stop Making Sense' Is Much More Than A Concert Film

Talking Heads Stop Making Sense

Once in a Lifetime a film comes around that shatters genre conventions.

As one of the most acclaimed and influential music documentaries of all-time, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense has never lacked for critical appraisal. The Talking Heads concert has remained a touchstone of the genre for many reasons, but perhaps even ones we weren’t cognitively aware of.

One of the sticking points would be that Stop Making Sense is actually a musical rather than a traditional concert film. It fits multiple criteria including a variety of camera shots, a narrative journey with the main character has experienced some form of growth, and there was extremely intentional lighting design to the feature.

Video Essayist Take Me To Your Cinema complied evidence to support his notion that the Talking Heads concert feature is much more than those have perceived it to be. Not only does the video feature countless shots from Stop Making Sense, but it also uses shots from other musicals and other concert films to show just how much Stop Making Sense differentiates itself from the pack.

It is an extremely well-researched video that includes many interviews with Jonathan Demme explaining exactly why many sequences were shot the way they were. Some of the musicals included in the video are Shall We Dance, Singin’ in the Rain, and Royal Wedding. These musicals are included just to show how much Demme was influenced by traditional musicals and how this concert film is so much more than its definition would allow.

 

News Writer/Columnist for Film School Rejects. It’s the Pictures Co-host. Bylines Playboy, ZAM, Paste Magazine and more.