For many people, myself included, the Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense is the greatest concert film of all time. Now, that stance has been recognised from a legislative standpoint after it was added to the US National Film Registry.
The registry housed within the Library of Congress looks to preserve films that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” with an enduring importance to American culture.
Captured over the course of four nights worth of shows at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre in December 1983, the film is a celebration of artistry, crafted by amazing people at the peak of their creative powers.
What follows that iconic introduction is an hour and a half of pure creative freedom as Jonathan Demme expertly captures a band taking to song like a bird to flight, with the creative twist of the stage show being built up around them throughout.
The film joins the likes of Richard Pryor: Live in Concert, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Michael Schultz’s Cooley High in this year’s selected inductees. The classic Martin Scorsese-directed concert film for The Band and a slew of guest stars, The Last Waltz, was previously added in 2019.
It would also seem a safe bet for my money that in due time, David Byrne will feature in the Registry once more after the dust has settled on his magnificent recent outing, American Utopia. You can check out our full top ten concert films by clicking here.