Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads has just been informed that Stop Making Sense is one of the most obsessively rewatched films among members, and that countless reviews of the Jonathan Demme-directed masterpiece exude joy in superlative measure. Moments away from the IMAX world premiere of the stunning restoration of Stop Making Sense, we are in a bar called heaven. Actually, it’s a hospitality room at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto, but it feels like a divine gathering.
Harrison and his bandmates David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz are here along with the film’s producer Gary Goetzman as well as Spike Lee, who will moderate the post-screening Q&A. This Toronto International Film Festival event is the first of many to reunite the band over the coming weeks, all in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the December 1983 concerts at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater, artfully captured by Demme and now restored in a thrilling new print courtesy of A24.
The vibe in the room is relaxed and convivial, but just a few steps away, inside the sold-out IMAX Theater, the fizzing audience is already setting off sparks. Once the film starts, they’re on their feet. It doesn’t matter where or with whom or how many times you’ve seen Stop Making Sense; if you’re a fan, every time is like the first. And a screening with the members of the band? This absolutely must be the place.