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True Stories

4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 39.99
Only 4 left in stock - order soon.
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Product Details

  • Actors: David Byrne, John Goodman, Annie McEnroe, Jo Harvey Allen, Spalding Gray
  • Directors: David Byrne
  • Writers: David Byrne, Beth Henley, Stephen Tobolowsky
  • Producers: Edward R. Pressman, Gary Kurfirst, Karen Murphy, Michael Flynn
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: March 30 1999
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6305308845
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,673 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

True Stories

Amazon.ca

Truly quirky, this mock documentary is part musical, part farce, and completely, oddly innocent. This is a one-man-band job for David Byrne (lead singer of the Talking Heads), who writes, stars, and directs, It's ostensibly about the sesquicentennial celebration of a small Texas town, but it's really about strange characters and strange attitudes. Byrne is our guide, driving us around and giving tour information about Texas in an innocuous patter, frequently running into Louis Fyne (John Goodman), a lonely man looking for love. At various times, and with little provocation, the film swoons into a Talking Heads number with preachers and bar patrons belting out tunes. If you make room for it, however, True Stories can surprise and delight with its inventiveness and its unconventional treatment of the residents. A scene in which a construction worker launches into an aria, on a makeshift stage when no one else is around, is but one example of numerous such moments in this bizarre, delightful, and benign film. Any Talking Heads fan who doesn't own it should. --Keith Simanton

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I had seen this a few times when it was released, and found it way too esoteric and cerebral - or just plain stupid. David Byrne doing his take on a inverted Magical Mystery Tour. And in some ways, that could be very true. But on seeing it again some 30 years later, I have to say this movie was WAY ahead of it's time! Best as I can describe it now is that it's soundbites that carry the narration, and the narration carries the soundbites. And you may say to yourself "Well, that does sound pretty weird" But then ask yourself to describe to anyone what CNN or The Daily Show, or even reality TV series are like - and bingo! And such morsels of lines that explain our modern urban standards today. IE; 'Be sexy during the day. Be successful during the night!' (said during the fashion show) . And John Goodman as the chunky bachelor looking for matrimony. A personable worker at a computer factory by day, and being desperate enough to advertise himself on local TV and perform in the town's talent show. 30 years before we added 'Face' + 'Book' and 'You' + 'Tube' together in our monkey like ways. And then Spalding Grays wonderful explanation of networking and logistics at the dinner table. Insane maybe for the time. Phenomenal by today's standards! This is definitely a movie that has improved with age! As poetic and prophetic as the dialog and lyrics are, there's a more foreboding question for the viewer by the end. If we couldn't believe this small town of Virgil, TX and it's inhabitants 30 years ago, but can now see some of the methods to their madness. What will we be revisiting, seeing, and having a better understanding of 30 years after this point...? Yet, we will forever be grateful that there's hopefully some young innocence out there in the middle of nowhere. Amazing movie! Amazing music! However you slice and dice it!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Masterfully spanning the divide between satire and celebration, True Stories allows us to see the ordinary as special and specialness as ridiculous, and ridiculousness as ordinary. It forces even the most cynical subGenius to once again like things. What a relief!
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Format: DVD
I have always loved True Stories, but it's not for everyone. This is one ingenious but quirky movie that plays on multiple levels all at the same time. The box cover describes True Stories as "a completely cool, multi-purpose movie," and that's about as good a description as there can be for a film almost impossible to describe. The film takes the form of a documentary of the sesquicentennial celebration in Virgil, Texas, with Talking Heads front man David Byrne cruising into town in his red convertible to narrate the events. Byrne is, in my opinion, an underappreciated genius, and what he managed to do here was to capture a wonderful slice of Americana. Virgil isn't a small town, but it has a small town feel, surrounded by flat land as far as the eye can see - land destined to be developed in the coming years. The townspeople are the true stars of the film, though; most of them are not even given names, and I think this is because they are not so much individuals as representatives of everyday men and women. You have, for example, the Laziest Woman on Earth (Swoosie Kurtz), who has not gotten out of bed for years and years, the Cute Woman, and the Lying Woman (Jo Harvey Allen) - who continually steals the show with some of the most outrageous comments you've ever heard. The silent masses are just regular people going about their regular lives, most of them the opposite of glamorous, just the kind of folks you probably see in your own local shopping malls. The only difference is that here, thanks to David Byrne, you notice these people - and I think that is very important. When these people get up and lip synch to a song like Wild Wild Life, it doesn't matter how weird they are - they are just having fun being themselves.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne follows trailblazer Kinky Friedman (the original New Yawk musician/raconteur to enter the Lone Star state of mind) with this subtly satirical Texas travelogue from 1986. It is no easy task to pigeonhole "True Stories"- part social satire, part long-form music video, part mockumentary. Fans of droll humor (and Byrne's art-school sensibilities) will enjoy the film. The episodic vignettes about the quirky but generally likable inhabitants of sleepy Virgil, Texas should hold your fascination once you buy into "tour-guide" Byrne's bemused anthropological detachment (some might say, "conceit", but there is no detectable mean-spiritedness here). The pseudo-documentary approach and low-ley ensemble performances presages (by a good 10-15 years) the gently satirical "mockumentaries" Christopher Guest & Co. have become so synonymous with. The excellent cinematography seems to get overlooked by reviewers and is worth a mention. The DVD transfer is not as dismal as some would lead you to believe, although I would agree that it is a shame that "pan and scan" is the only format currently offered (but for such a low list price, there is not much room for complaint). The audio is quite adequate. Fans of the obscure and offbeat will rejoice.
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