Celebrating music at Tryon Theatre 

Published 12:17 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2023

This week at Tryon Theatre we are making use of the cinematic art form to celebrate another beloved art form: music. We have paired two films together that explore both the creation and the experience of music, “Stop Making Sense” and “Joan Baez: I Am Noise.” The first of these is focused on the experience of hearing music and its physical production, and the second focuses on the artist and the experiences that shape a creative mind.

“Stop Making Sense” is arguably the ideal concert film and one that largely defined the genre concept. Originally filmed in 1983 and released in 1984, this film captivated the audiences of the day, broadening The Talking Heads’ already widespread acclaim. In celebration of this film’s 40th anniversary, the studio A24 has remastered and released “Stop Making Sense,” allowing a whole new audience to embrace the musical spectacle and giving a chance for many more to relive the transcendent experience they had years ago. The film, directed by the renowned Jonathan Demme, follows David Byrne and the other members of The Talking Heads as they both set the stage for and play a phenomenal concert at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre. This film is immersive, placing the viewer squarely in the audience, awash in aural experience. 

“Joan Baez: I Am Noise,” as a musical film, takes the form of a biopic rather than a concert film. At the end of a 60-year career, the film looks back on the life of Joan Baez to appreciate both her origins and her influence throughout her meteoric rise to fame and the ever-changing decades of culture. The film’s creators were given access to a treasure trove of personal photos, writings and recordings, adding a rich texture of humanity and interiority to a performer who many adored but never knew. In a bold step, Joan has taken this film as an opportunity for her own personal therapy. This film is of course a celebration of Joan, her music and her life, but in order to fully celebrate and appreciate her highs, we must also know her lows. The film takes us on Joan’s journey, equal parts joyous and painful, but all important and valuable in appreciating Joan the artist, and Joan the person. 

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Film has always been indebted to music. This week we pay homage to that debt and celebrate music. We hope you will take an opportunity to join us in appreciating our second artistic love while experiencing our first. 

As with any Film Society week in which we show two films instead of one, our showtimes are broken up into three showtimes a piece, per film. “Stop Making Sense” will play on Wednesday at 7 p.m., Thursday at 2:30 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m. “Joan Baez: I Am Noise” will play on Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.