HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Z for Zachariah
Marty
Walk with Me
JFK
Kirlian Witness, The
Kid for Two Farthings, A
The Freshman
Hear My Song
Wild Wild West
Cure
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
   
 
Newest Articles
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
   
 
  True Stories The Middle Of NowhereBuy this film here.
Year: 1986
Director: David Byrne
Stars: David Byrne, John Goodman, Annie McEnroe, Swoosie Kurtz, Jo Harvey Allen, Spalding Gray, Alix Elias, Roebuck 'Pops' Staples, Tito Larriva, John Ingle
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: The small American town of Virgil, in the state of Texas, is celebrating its 150th anniversary with a parade and a concert. Here we dip into the lives of some of the townsfolk as they prepare for the event.

This sunny, odd musical was co-written by director David Byrne with Stephen Toblowsky and Beth Henley, and based on stories they found in supermarket tabloids. Byrne's band Talking Heads provided the songs, which are mostly sung by the cast. The whole thing is an offbeat mix of "funny old world" slices of life and pop videos.

There is no real main character, but the narrator, Byrne, introduces the town and its people with bland yet quirky observations. Louis (John Goodman) turns up most often, a worker at the electronics plant that provides most of Virgil's population with its livelihood. Louis is looking for love, a wife to "share his life" and even resorts to advertising on local TV to achieve this.

The other characters range from a woman who seems to have lived a life straight out of The National Enquirer, complete with references to space aliens and Elvis Presley, to another woman who is so rich that she spends her whole life in bed watching TV. Then there's the preacher who turns his sermon into a lecture on conspiracy theories, with gospel singers backing him up.

There are a string of sequences that start out with ingenuous scenes and turn quaintly eccentric, like the fashion show where the hostess starts to sing as the costumes become more and more outlandish, or the parade itself which features the traditional cheerleaders and majorettes, but also lawnmowers, babies in pushchairs, accordion players and men in tiny cars. True Stories may also hold the record for the most establishing shots in one film.

All this is so slight that you get the impression it may have been better off as a Talking Heads concept album rather than a quirky pseudo-documentary. Why not film real examples of American eccentricity and set that to music instead? Despite a variety of styles, the songs are not really as memorable as the band's best work, with only the singles "Wild Wild Life" and "Radio Head" standing out. Still, it's a good natured film that quietly celebrates this way of life rather than patronising it. Also with: Victor Kiam on TV.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6450 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

David Byrne  (1952 - )

Although best known as the frontman of art rockers Talking Heads and for his own successful post-Heads solo work, Byrne has in fact enjoyed parallel careers in the world of art, photography and film. In 1986 he directed True Stories, a satirical musical comedy about life in a small Texan town, and won an Oscar the following year for his soundtrack to The Last Emperor (scored with Ryuichi Sakamoto).

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
   

 

Last Updated: