Often cited as the finest concert movie of them all, Stop Making Sense portrays the group Talking Heads over three performances at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre in December 1983. It was helmed by Jonathan Demme — who would later win an Oscar for The Silence of the Lambs. The footage was assembled largely without the interviews and cutaway scenes that have become staples of the concert-movie genre. Instead, Demme allows charismatic Talking Heads front man David Byrne to dominate every frame he appears in, be it walking onstage (we only see his feet at first) or donning the “big suit” — the film’s indelible image. And just as important, the sound is staggeringly, sonically clear, thanks to the pioneering use of 24-track digital recording.
TIME’s take: “The movie is more meticulously composed than most Hollywood hits.”
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