We’re less than a month away from HBO’s premiere of David Byrne’s American Utopia, the Talking Heads alum’s Broadway show that’s here been translated to film with the help of Spike Lee. Described by our own A.A. Dowd as a “spiritual sequel” to Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, the concert film finds Byrne and an ensemble of 11 musicians, singers, and dancers cycling through a number of the songwriter’s hits in between anecdotes, asides, and interactions with the crowd. Per a synopsis, the show invites audiences “into a joyous dreamworld where human connection, self-evolution, and social justice are paramount.”
Our TIFF review of the film lauds its “celebratory, eccentric identity,” going on to call it “more relaxed, maybe more intimate and inviting [than Stop Making Sense].”
“His band, a multi-national 11-piece decked out in identical gray suits, works its way across the space with movements that somehow feel both spontaneous and synchronized,” it continues. “The stage is empty, save for a chain curtain along its edges; no equipment is visible, no instrument is wired. At a certain point, the bareness reveals itself as an expression of Byrne’s philosophy about the relationship between artist and audience: ‘Us and you, that’s what the show is,’ he says.”
Watch the latest trailer for the piece below:
David Byrne’s American Utopia premieres on HBO Max on Saturday, October 17.