The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, March 15-21

nyc repertory cinema-Stop-Making-Sense

Stop Making Sense (1984)
Directed by Jonathan Demme
About halfway through Stop Making Sense, David Byrne dances with a floor lamp. He sways it to one side until it nearly topples over, then stumbles across the stage to catch it and repeat the process. His movements are cartoonish and clumsy but hypnotic, almost as if his body is temporarily possessed by the spirit of Charlie Chaplin. This impromptu floor lamp tango is one of many unexpected pleasures in this seminal concert film. Demme ditches the 80s MTV aesthetic of jump cuts, crowd shots, and flashy costumes for something decidedly more unconventional. Shot over the span of a three-day residency at LA’s Pantages Theater, the film opts for total immersion, switching between wide shots of the stage and lengthy, mesmerizing close-ups of the band. The editing produces a gleeful, childlike energy, punctuated at the end by the appearance of Byrne wearing an enormous grey business suit and looking like a wide-eyed kid playing grown-up. A.J. Serrano (March 18, 2pm, 4:30pm at the Metrograph, with Byrne Q&A following 2pm screening and introduction preceding 4:30pm screening; SOLD OUT, check @MetrographNYC on social media for any additional info)

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