Sunday, May 7, 2017

Short Post and a Song #114: This is what happens when I see graffiti I can't easily make sense of.

[Subway Platform]

RICK: Let's draw a dick on this pillar, Jimmy!

JIMMY: Naw, we'll get caught!

RICK: No one'll see. *pulls out marker and writes "No one will see it" on the pillar because he's clever and/or kind of an asshole*

POLICEMAN: Hey, you, stop writing on that pillar!

JIMMY: I told you, Rick!! *runs away*

RICK: *freezes, shocked by his own hubris. As he finally begins to run away, he draws a series of exclamation marks to emphasize the way this moment has forever changed the person he is, and the person he shall henceforth become*


"Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads

So Jonathan Demme died about a week and a half ago, which is a real bummer since it always is when an awesome director dies, and he definitely was one. On his resume were Oscar-winning films like Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia. Most significant to me personally is the fact that he directed Stop Making Sense, a 1984 concert film of the Talking Heads performing live.

"Psycho Killer" is the first performance of the concert, and it becomes clear pretty quickly that it's not going to be just the typical experience of watching a band perform. David Byrne comes out by himself and moves through the entire first song on his own, showing what a powerhouse of weird and awesome charisma he is. The angles of the camera show that Jonathan Demme never had any intention of just planting a camera in place and pointing it at the band. As a director he showed great instincts for when to move in close to the performers' faces, and when to go out long and display the band as one giant unit.

I highly recommend watching the entire concert. The first time I watched myself I was worried I wouldn't be entertained by simply watching a band play without the high energy atmosphere of actually attending the concert in person. But Byrne's Gumby dancing and irresistible energy pair with Demme's beautifully thoughtful direction to produce one of my favorite things I've ever watched. I posted another song from Stop Making Sense a few months back that displays how the show gets even better once the other members of the band are incorporated into the performance.

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