Lauded A24 Rerelease of Jonathan Demme's Talking Heads Concert Film, ‘Stop Making Sense’ Screens in Benefit of VersoFest and WPKN

Mon, Dec 18, 2023
Westport Library

“This is the greatest concert film ever, can we give it up please?! I’m going on record,” Spike Lee raved to the buzzing sold out Toronto International Film Festival crowd and IMAX audiences all over the world.

A24’s remixed, remastered, 4K, 40th anniversary rerelease of Jonathan Demme’s 1984 tour-de-force film, Stop Making Sense, has ignited a lovefest among original Talking Heads members David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, and Westport’s own Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. The publicity tour extended from TIFF to reunited screenings in New York and Los Angeles, with everyone from Late Night’s Stephen Colbert to Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon to Khruangbin’s Laura Lee paying reverence and tribute.

Now it's coming to Westport.

On Friday, February 9, A24’s rerelease of Stop Making Sense lands in the hometown library and venue of Frantz and Weymouth, at The Westport Library and Verso Studios.

This event is a benefit for both VersoFest 2024 and beloved freeform community radio station WPKN, where Frantz hosts his monthly radio show, The Talking Head. Tickets are $20, with larger donations to these grassroots organizations encouraged and welcomed. The night includes a cash bar with beer provided by nearby BBQ restaurant, Walrus Alley, plus wine.

Doors open at 6:30 pm with WPKN’s ReHumanize Yourself Radio host Herman Olivera and assorted WPKN DJs spinning vinyl sets before and after the film. Stop Making Sense begins promptly at 7 pm, followed by a question-and-answer session with Frantz and Weymouth, moderated by Verso Studios Marketing Manager Brendan Toller, who is an accomplished filmmaker (Danny Says, I Need That Record!), musician (Dust Hat, Hilton Valentine Band), and DJ (Shake ‘N’ Vibrate).

Stop Making Sense is the landmark film capturing the Talking Heads over three nights at Pantages Theater in Los Angeles in December of 1983. The extended touring edition of the band included Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steve Scales, Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt for an electrifying, performative document that has enraptured generations of audiences in fervent screenings and parties.

Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth at VersoFest 2023. Photo by Chad Anderson.

VersoFest is the Library's annual music and media conference and festival linking local and global artists in performances, panels, and workshops. Taking place Wednesday, April 3, through Sunday April 7, the 2024 edition welcomes legendary music producer Tony Visconti and rising power pop rockers the Lemon Twigs, with a host of acts and names yet to be announced.

Frantz and Weymouth have been glowing supporters of VersoFest since its inception in 2022. In previous years, Frantz has moderated discussions with acclaimed music producer Steve Lillywhite and Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler. The inaugural VersoFest featured Frantz in discussion on his best-selling memoir Remain in Love with WPKN General Manager Steve di Constanzo.

Celebrating 60 years of listener-supported, freeform, community radio, Bridgeport’s WPKN 89.5 FM (online at is cited by The New Yorker as “the greatest radio station in the world.” Approximately 130 multi-generational volunteers support 24/7 non-commercial radio programming spanning rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, blues, hip hop, avant garde, world music, news, environmental reporting, and more.

Verso Studios is an ideal film forum, equipped with an 18 x 10-foot Digital Projection Radiance LED 1080 screen and concert hall grade d&b soundsystem. In recent years, Verso Studios has screened Connecticut premieres of Todd Haynes Velvet Underground documentary and Larry Locke’s Heaven Stood Still: The Incarnations of Willy Deville, as well as innovative screenings with Psychedelic Cinema and documentary trailblazer Sam Green's 32 Sounds.

With Frantz consecrating The Westport Library as “the hippest library in the whole damn country,” there will surely be dancing in the aisles.

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