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Stop Making Sense

Jonathan Demme

Saturday 4 p.m.
Aladdin scene

Talking Heads emerged as one of the bands playing at legendary New York club CBGBs in the mid-1970s and made their album debut with "Talking Heads:77".


The quartet consisted of David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison. Six years later they had another four albums behind them and in 1983 they were on tour after the release of "Speaking in Tongues".



The band had recorded in itself large doses of funk and world music, on top of a unique form of punk & art rock. To perform their expansive and rhythmic expression, Talking Heads had expanded the line-up with an additional five musicians; two singers, keyboardist, guitarist and percussionist.

The band decided to make a concert film and to entrust the direction to Jonathan Demme (1944-2017). The film was financed by the band themselves. it was recorded at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood over four concert days in 1983 and first released in 1984.

The film made David Byrne one of rock's most distinct and different frontmen. Not least thanks to the fact that he disappears from the stage for a while in the film, while bassist Weymouth and drummer Franz perform a song from their side project, Tom Tom Club, and then appear in an oversized suit. From there, Byrne's white XXL suit is one of rock's most famous and spectacular outfits.


The concert starts with Byrne alone with acoustic guitar and boom box on stage and develops into an exuberant dance and absurd theater show of epic format.


When both band and audience are finally drenched in sweat and nothing but broad smiles, Byrne rounds off with: "Does anyone have any questions?"


The question could have been: Is this the best concert film of all time? Many up-and-coming music fans would say just that.


When the film was re-released in 4K in autumn 2023, the audience danced between the rows of seats in the cinemas. In 2021, "Stop Making Sense" was selected into the "National Film Registry" by the Library of Congress for "cultural, historical and aesthetic significance".


The Halden International Music Film Festival's friendship festival, Sonisk, in Trondheim is so happy with "Stop Making Sense" that they have decided to show it every year.


HIMF aims to make the screening of "Stop Making Sense" at the Aladdin Stage, under the "Make Halden Smile" banner, a cinematic and audio event that no one should miss.

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