By Jason Bailey
It’s one of those weeks where the new releases are more than a little dire, but that’s okay; you can catch up on some catalogue titles, including a pair of last minute views before FilmStruck slips away.
True Stories: Criterion is undertaking a similarly heroic act of cinematic rescue with this new release of David Byrne’s wonderful 1986 comedy/musical, available for years as only a lousy full-frame DVD. It deserves far better. Hot off the success of Stop Making Sense, Byrne somehow convinced Warner Brothers to let him co-write, direct, and star in this oddball assemblage of tabloid-inspired stories, set in a small Texas town during its celebration of that state’s sesquicentennial. Sweet, stylish, and charming, it’s full of terrific tunes, memorable characters, and pitch-perfect performances; Spalding Gray, Swoosie Kurtz, and Byrne himself all make impressions, but the scene-stealer is a young John Goodman, heartbreaking as a bear of a guy who just wants to fall in love. (Includes documentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, trailer, and soundtrack CD.)