The 1984 A24 Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense has recently returned to theaters for its fortieth anniversary. Dubbed as “[The] greatest concert film of all time,” this creation, directed by Jonathan Demme, runs for a little under an hour and a half. It shows the entirety of a concert shot at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in 1983.

I watched Stop Making Sense the first weekend of October at the Somerville Theater which is a large, opera-house-style auditorium known for its loud and immersive sound system. I was told by my parents that my friend and I would be the youngest there by about twenty years, however, the theater was actually filled up by people of all ages.

The film opens with David Byrne alone on stage, performing Talking Heads’ arguably most famous song, Psycho Killer. From this moment, the performative aspect of the concert becomes apparent as Byrne dramatically dances around the stage. At the end of each song, the backstage crew begins to roll on more equipment and instruments. Soon, the bassist, guitarists, drummer, percussionists, and dancers arrive on stage. In an energized, creative, communal gathering, the musicians act as one big family with the void surrounding their band onstage.

The stage is set up in a carefully lit and artistically organized manner, with bright and bold backdrop displays. The camera movements feature close cuts of each member accompanied by careful edits, euphoric lighting, and sound.

By the time Byrne had changed into his iconic suite, many of the audience members in our theater had stood up in order to participate in a group-wide reaction to the infectious dancing of the musicians. The performance shows individualism within the members—most of the dance movements are not choreographed but rather up to each person—yet it gives off a feeling of community both within the group and beyond with the audience.

The film is blisteringly radiant, like a fever dream, yet also comical and personal. If you are a Talking Heads fan, I would recommend trying to find time to see this movie while it is still out in theaters. The opening silence of the film is followed by an eruption of song and movement, and the accompanied audience reaction makes viewing Stop Making Sense an almost transcendent experience.