By Bill Pearls
David Byrne‘s feature film directorial debut, the quirky comedy True Stories, is getting a much deserved Criterion edition on November 20. If you’ve never seen the film was co-written by character actor and noted “that guy” Stephen Tobolowsky and, starred Byrne, John Goodman, Spalding Gray, Swoozie Kurtz, and more and is separate but kinda connected from the 1986 Talking Heads album of the same name. Here’s the synopsis:
Music icon David Byrne was inspired by tabloid headlines to make this sole foray into feature film directing, an ode to the extraordinariness of ordinary American life and a distillation of what was in his own idiosyncratic mind. Byrne plays a visitor to Virgil, Texas, who introduces us to the citizens of the town during preparations for its Celebration of Specialness. As shot by cinematographer Ed Lachman, Texas becomes a hyperrealistic late-capitalist landscape of endless vistas, shopping malls, and prefab metal buildings. In True Stories, Byrne uses his songs to stitch together pop iconography, voodoo rituals, and a singular variety show—all in the service of uncovering the rich mysteries that lurk under the surface of everyday experience.
The Criterion edition features a newly restored 4K transfer of the film supervised by Byrne, plus tons of extras like a new documentary about the film’s production, short features on fashion designer Tibor Kalman (who was an influence on Byrne and had a role in the film), deleted scenes and the Blu-ray comes with a 23-song CD that compiles True Stories’ soundtrack for the very first time. Pre-orders are being taken now and you can watch the original trailer for the film below.
David Byrne much-lauded “untethered” American Utopia tour hits NYC for shows at Forest Hills Stadium and Kings Theatre in September.