“This is not a musical. It's a bold attempt to paint a bizarre American landscape. This movie does what some painters try to do: It recasts ordinary images into strange new shapes.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“An exuberant and wonderfully oddball stew of deadpan comedy, character drama, music video, and art installation.” - Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

September 29 & October 12 | When Byrne directed TRUE STORIES, he was already a huge star as the frontman for Talking Heads. He’s gone on to direct music videos, short films, and documentaries, but TRUE STORIES stands out not just as the only feature narrative he’s ever directed, but also as a delightfully strange film that feels possible only with Byrne at the helm. Byrne stars as a cowboy-hat-wearing narrator who journeys through a series of vignettes “about a bunch of people in Virgil Texas,” including lovesick singer Louis Fyne (John Goodman) and the bedridden Miss Rollings (Swoosie Kurtz), all preparing for the 150th anniversary of Texas, deemed the “Celebration of Specialness.” A musical patchwork of good natured weirdness, TRUE STORIES, while not a commercial success at the time of its release, was embraced by critics, including Roger Ebert, who called the film “a bold attempt to paint a bizarre American landscape.” That Byrne attempted no other feature narrative film seems fitting, as TRUE STORIES feels like a perfect, particular chapter in his boundless career.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Best First Feature, Independent Spirit Award
Nominee - Best Cinematography (Edward Lachman), Independent Spirit Awards

One and Done SeriesIn One and Done we consider the work of gifted filmmakers who, for myriad reasons, never directed another feature film again, and invite audiences to appreciate the rarity while imagining what might have been. View full series.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu