Stop the presses, stop making sense: the best concert film of all time is coming home now remastered and on 4K Blu-ray. Which is already pretty great, considering some’a you people just about missed Stop Making Sense when it was rereleased in theaters last year. But it gets even better: The A24 rerelease is coming to home theaters with an extended cut from footage once thought lost.
A24’s Stop Making Sense restoration will include the remastered movie in several forms, all including “Cities” and “Big Business / I Zimbra,” two sections of the film previously thought lost.
Per A24’s press release, the original negative for the edits of these songs were lost, but the production company pulled from other footage (being captured by the multiple cameras running over the three nights of performances at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater) and was able to reconstruct a new 4K, ultra HD edit from the previously unused (and even unseen) footage. And here you thought heaven was a place where nothing ever happens!
This is a pretty big get, even for folks who pop their at-home copy into the DVD player once a month. Stop Making Sense is the kind of performance that simply crackles in every instance; the band is on, and the show’s energy never flags, even when the BPMs do. Just about every song is made better in the show, and rewatches are rewarded with wall-to-wall bangers and new appreciation for Jonathan Demme’s thoughtful framing of a band grooving their way through the void.
Really the less we say about it the better, but it deserves to be acknowledged what a great run this film has had. Beyond being directed by Demme, beyond capturing The Talking Heads at the height of their fame (and their “David Byrne expanding the band” phase), even beyond setting the bar for concert movies for 40 years, Stop Making Sense has proved itself to be a classic for the ages. The A24 rerelease hung around theaters for 19 weeks, and outearned its original 1984 release, and even several quieter first-run movies like Skinamarink.
With a film like this there’s no need to wait ’til the party’s over; as anyone who’s seen it can attest, you can throw this bad boy on anytime, be it a bustling party, a lazy Saturday cleaning your beautiful house, or when you want to simply rise above the earth on a bit of heavenly rock perfection. This is a film for more than once in a lifetime, is what I’m saying.
A24 will be selling 4K Blu-ray exclusively through their store, for $58. (A standard disc version is available for $53.) Additionally, there will be fresh merch: the soundtrack on vinyl, shirts, and a coaster set. Nothing is better than this (is it)?