Now Streaming: The Restored Version of Talking Heads Concert Film 'Stop Making Sense' Has Hit DocPlay

If you missed the greatest concert film ever made in 4K in cinemas in 2023, you can now watch it at home.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 13, 2024

Four decades back, concert film history was made. In December 1983, David Byrne walked out onto a Hollywood stage with a tape deck, pressed play and, while standing there solo, began to sing 'Psycho Killer'. Then-future The Silence of the Lambs Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme directed cameras towards the legendary Talking Heads' frontman, recording the results for Stop Making Sense.

The best way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the event behind the greatest concert film ever made arrived in 2024, and in cinemas. That'd be watching it on the big screen, of course, with cult-favourite independent film and TV company A24 — and Madman Down Under — releasing a complete restoration of Stop Making Sense. What's the second-best way to celebrate the occasion and the movie? Catching that new 4K version at home now that it's on Madman's documentary streaming service DocPlay from Thursday, June 13.

Wearing big suits is optional. Now able to burn down your house — not literally, naturally — the 4K restoration premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, and also had a date with SXSW Sydney's Screen Festival in 2023. So, no it isn't the same as it ever was: Stop Making Sense is now even better.

The film isn't just iconic for how it starts, which definitely isn't how concerts usually kick off. From there, as captured at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in December 1983, David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison put on one helluva show in support of their previous year's album Speaking in Tongues. Expect a lineup of hits, a playful approach, Byrne's famous oversized attire and even heftier stage presence, and the feeling that you're virtually in the room.

Indeed, everything about this energetic and precisely executed documentary, which records the set from start to finish, couldn't be further from the standard concert flick. As 'Once in a Lifetime', 'Heaven', 'Burning Down the House', Life During Wartime', 'This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)', 'Genius of Love' and more get a whirl, each element of the movie is that fine-tuned, and every aspect of the band's performance, too.

And if it feels like Byrne was on-screen not that long ago, that's because his Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods)-directed solo concert flick American Utopia did the rounds of Aussie cinemas back in 2020 — and proved one of that year's absolute best films.

Check out the trailer for Stop Making Sense's 4K restoration below:

Stop Making Sense is available to stream via DocPlay from Thursday, June 13, 2024.

Images: Jordan Cronenweth, Courtesy of A24.

Published on June 13, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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