True Stories

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True Stories

Postby bowisneski » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:35 pm

Not sure if anyone else on the board has seen this wonderful gem of a film. It was directed by Talking Heads front man David Byrne and released in 1986. This week it finally dropped on bluray courtesy of Criterion. It's essentially a collection of stories with a slight through line of the town of Virgil, Texas holding a Celebration of Specialness for the Texas Sesquicentennial. It has shades of The Straight Story and The Return and is very much about small town American quirk but pushes it just a bit in to the surreal. It lacks the darker side that Lynch gravitates towards and explores, but I love it.

And there's an amazing documentary about how the film was made on the Criterion release that examines the strange, specific, and different process Byrne went through to make it. For example, he began by creating thumbnails and then brought in Stephen Tobolowsky to help write a script based on the thumbnails. He also took a lot of inspiration from tabloid headlines and this edition(at least the blu) comes with a literal newspaper that includes some normal Criterion booklet material as well as some of the original tabloid stories.

I would highly suggest it if you enjoy meandering and surreal Americana.
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Re: RE: True Stories

Postby zeronumber » Sat Dec 01, 2018 2:30 pm

Yes indeed. I believe this is one the most unsung masterpieces of 80s film
Besides it be a marvelous showcase for some very excellent Talking Heads music, it , at the time was a slice of Americana that had up till then barely been told.

It was magically cast, with folks like John Goodman, Swoozie Kurtz, and David himself as the humble narrator and tour guide, in a great big car ( "its not rented...this vehicle is pivately owned") and 10 gallon hat...

So much great stuff, like JuJu voodoo spells, lip sync Karaoke and Puzzling Evidence ..(which singlehandly joins the holy~ghost~like powers against the almost demonic emerging corporate glories of the dawning information age)... Children sing; where dinosaurs once danced....and Spalding Gray waxes loquacious in his telling of maybe the funniest joke about Texas i have ever heard.

What is america? David Byrne and David Lynch know, and put it up on the screen in bright Fuji film colored focus.

/a song stands out now that i think of it. Its called Dream Opeator...

"Every dream has a name
And names tell your story
This song is your dream
Your the dream operator"

(...Its True!")

Please see this film.
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Re: True Stories

Postby bowisneski » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:34 pm

I feel like your post was a wonderful encapsulation of the magic of True Stories. It has such an optimistic bent to it and I wish that had been fulfilled in the years since. And not only does Spalding Gray wax loquacious with a fantastic Texas joke, but also in the stand out dinner scene about how weekends don't exist anymore.

Another little gem that sort of fits with this and is also set in Texas is the sort-of-quel to Rocky Horror called Shock Treatment. It takes on reality TV and American ideals way ahead of its time.

In addition to Dream Operator, there is also City of Dreams which has a chorus that I feel fits in with the overall thrust of this board

We live in the city of dreams
We drive on the highway of fire
Should we awake and find it gone
Remember this, our favorite town

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