Hi Carl, tonight I’m going to talk more about the Toronto International Film Festival. I have watched 25 films, and tonight I’ll review four that I think are really great.
First Up-The Opening Night film “American Utopia” is a musical celebration by David Byrne of “Talking Heads.” Remember him?
Even though I was watching from home, I couldn’t help myself as I began to dance around. It’s such a fun, uplifting movie!
Can you believe it’s been thirty-six years since Byrne and the “Talking Heads” created one of the best concert films of all time, “Stop Making Sense?” Byrne appears to have his finger on the pulse of our nation as nothing makes sense anymore. In “American Utopia,” he’s created a visual celebration of our role in society and not only our connection to it, but he’s also gone a step further. He is asking for a ‘call to action.’
Upon viewing, you’ll feel a nuance of concern and indignation, as the beginning starts with an image of former NFL football player, Colin Kaepernick, who took a knee four years ago in protest of racial injustice in America, while the performers on stage kneel. Byrne co-wrote the album alongside Brian Eno, that released in 2018.
In another montage, viewers are encouraged to vote, and the importance of one’s right to vote is displayed, with an underlying message of duty. A toe-tapping get up, and dance song is the reworked version of “One Fine Day.” The dancers and singers are in harmonious voices as they look to the stars for guidance.
The musical does make you miss a live theater performance, which no doubt will be up and running to sellout crowds in the future, although in the interim, we can enjoy “American Utopia” in the comfort of our homes. And here’s the bonus, you’ll hear “Talking Heads” hit songs that have been reworked, “Once in a Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House,” and “This Must Be the Place.”
The Bottomline: The choreography is mesmerizing, the music is extraordinary, and the feeling of joy creates a tone of hope.
Here’s the Hollywood 360 Radio Podcast: http://www.hollywood360radio.com/tiff-part-2-opening-night-american-utopia-nomadland-penguin-bloom-mlk-fbi/
Sarah Knight Adamson© September 20, 2020