“Stop Making Sense” was originally filmed at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December of 1983 across three nights. Directed by the late, great Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”), it is widely regarded as one of the greatest — if not the single greatest — concert films ever made. It certainly doesn’t hurt when you have a master filmmaker like Demme behind the camera. And having a respected company like A24, the studio behind hits like “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “Hereditary,” handling the restoration gives everything a little extra juice.
Looking at the larger picture here, this is good for A24 as the company probably didn’t have to invest all that much in the film and they now are reaping the rewards. The studio is looking to shore up its finances in the near future, so any wins — even if they’re relatively small when compared to what Taylor Swift is pulling off right now — are welcome.
The other, bigger thing here is that it’s yet another example of specialty programming working for theaters. Yes, “The Eras Tour” is a much bigger example, but the fact that people (many of whom weren’t even alive when the movie was filmed) turned up to fill IMAX theaters to see the Talking Heads is no small thing. As Hollywood at large continues to reckon with the future, programming like this is not only welcome, but necessary. Things that feel like events capable of getting people into theaters, particularly those who might otherwise be content to just stay home, are needed. More of this, please.
“Stop Making Sense” is in select theaters now.