A24 Acquires Talking Heads 1984 Concert Film ‘Stop Making Sense’, Will Restore In 4K For Theatrical Release

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In the wake of delivering Talking Heads frontman David Byrne his second Oscar nomination with Everything Everywhere All at Once, A24 has acquired worldwide rights to his former band’s 1984 cult hit concert pic Stop Making Sense for theatrical release later this year.

A24 will give the director Jonathan Demme’s first concert pic a 4K restoration. If the company can polish this up in time, boy, this would be a fun midnight film for Cannes. The news comes off the heels of A24 acquiring and re-releasing Darren Aronofsky’s Pi.

Stop Making Sense stars core band members Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison along with P-Funk Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steve Scales, Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt. The live performance was shot over three nights at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre in December 1983 and features such memorable Talking Heads songs as “Burning Down the House,” “Life During Wartime,” “Take Me to the River,” “Psycho Killer” and “Once in a Lifetime.” The band, whose style was a blend of art-punk-funk rock, was propelled by legendary producer Brian Eno, whose collaborations count works with David Bowie, U2 and Coldplay.

The Talking Heads beamed in a statement about the news: “There was a band. There was a concert. This must be the movie!” The band broke up in 1991 and played briefly at a 2002 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Byrne told us recently on Deadline’s Crew Call, ” we’re not going to do it;” meaning the Talking Heads are never getting back together again.

Byrne, who won an Oscar for co-composing the score to the 1987 Bernardo Bertolucci movie The Last Emperor, counted his second Oscar nomination recently for the original song “This Is a Life,” which he co-wrote with Son Lux and Mitski from the Daniels’ multi-Oscar-winning movie Everything Everywhere All at Once. Byrne is a near-EGOT winner; he’s just missing an Emmy. Gary Goetzman is producing the re-release here of Stop Making Sense.

Rhino will release a new deluxe version of the double-platinum soundtrack on vinyl and digitally on August 18 that will include the complete Stop Making Sense concert for the first time. The film made $5M at the domestic box office.

A funny teaser dropped with the news early this morning showing Byrne going to a dry cleaners where he hands in his ticket and says: “I’m picking up. It’s been here for a while.” We then see him retrieve his famed big suit from Stop Making Sense, which he goes home, tries on and dances around to the song “This Must Be the Place.”

Watch the teaser above.

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