re: True Stories

Inspired by this feature over at Archinect I went ahead and rented True Stories directed by David Byrne, this weekend.

As a quick side-note, I used the occasion as an excuse to visit Video Rodeo‘s new location, still off University Avenue. Turns out my account from years ago, when I last visited them at their original location, was still active. Love the new downtown location (now walkable for me) and as a bonus I picked up a used graphic novel/comic, which they also sell some of now.

Overall the film was a perfect choice for a fun/easy Saturday night film. Weird, funny and truly entertaining. More a “celebration” than irony or snark. Some specifics;

I liked how the film opened with a quick historical perspective on Texas, going back to indigenous peoples such as the Wichitas, Mexicans, then slaves.

In one of his first architectural musings, the narrator (Byrne) refers to the headquarters of Varicorp Corporation as normal. Normal, because it is a box aka a “multipurpose shape“. The interior scenes highlight this nondescript but multipurpose nature, as the camera tracks by/through various production facilities from “clean rooms” to a “red room“.

Instead of the more urban flâneur, Byrne often plays the role of the cool observer from behind the wheel, as he drives through suburban housing tracts, on sprawling highways (which some have called “the cathedrals of our time“) and past prefab metal buildings.

Turns out I actually recognized many of the songs used as musical interludes/performed as part of the story. Presumably, as the Talking Heads released an album, titled True Stories, which included the band’s versions of songs featured in the film.

There is also a simply BONKERS mall fashion show that is soundtracked by ‘Dream Operator‘ and the FANTASTIC ‘People Like Us‘, sung by John Goodman in his first lead part, to close the movie out.


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