Same as it ever was? All four members of Talking Heads — David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison — reunited at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday night to present the new 4K restoration of their iconic 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense and to talk about the film with Spike Lee. The premiere and Q&A was also broadcast to IMAX theaters around the country as part of a special, once in a lifetime event.
Spike, who said he went to see a midnight screening of the film on opening night back in the day and considers it the greatest concert film ever made, quizzed the band about the origins and production of the film, Byrne’s famous big suit, and what they did with not only the picture but the sound of this restoration of the film which is being released theatrically this month by A24.
“One of the wonderful things is there is new technology, which meant we almost have a burden to adapt and to bring [Stop Making Sense] up to what people can hear now in theaters,” said Harrison, who noted the original soundtrack album was recorded with then-cutting-edge digital audio tape. He said this new version allowed them to isolate individual performers — including the four original members but also Bernie Worrell, Steve Scales, and Alex Weir and backing vocalists Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt. “They just took us into a whole nother dimension,” said Frantz. “I’m very grateful to be here tonight and to be able to watch this and to enjoy it so much.”
Lee seemed the most excited to actually be there and the conversation was more than a little awkward at times, even with softballed questions. In addition to his own, Spike read audience questions from various IMAX theaters around the country but one subject that was not broached was, now that long-broken fences are being mended, could there be more from Talking Heads? But you can watch a fan-shot recording of the whole Q&A below.
Stop Making Sense begins its new theatrical run on September 22 with a week exclusively at IMAX theaters — where that big suit has never been bigger — before going into regular theaters on September 29.