7.8
Igor Fishman

Legendary Talking Heads frontman David Byrne returns with this enigmatic stage show, and with Spike Lee in tow, the film reaches for the heights of the iconic concert doc Stop Making Sense. For those unfamiliar, Stop Making Sense directed by Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the Talking Heads’ invigorating live show in their early eighties prime, and is often considered one of the best concert films of all time.

Now nearly forty years later Byrne attempts a resurrection of that spirit or a form of it given his former bandmates notably absent from the project. His propellant energy is on full display as he goes through the ‘Heads catalog with a backing band that dances in intricately choreographed sequences around him. Most notable, however, is the sparseness of the stage production which brings to mind a dirge-like atmosphere. Byrne’s righteous thrashings against Reagan’s America carry renewed weight in the despondency of the Trump-era. So despite his attempts at optimism, aching futility runs through the heart of the show; most pointed when Byrne sings the famous lines from in Once In A Lifetime: “Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.”

1. You can watch
David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020)
on
HBO Max

Price:
 $14.99 per month
Device availability:
 Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung TV, Xbox

HBO Max is a subscription-based on-demand platform that is only available in the US. New subscribers pay $15 a month, with an annual subscription option also available.

When you subscribe, you’ll get HBO’s world-class exclusives, such as The Wire and Game of Thrones but HBO MAX also functions as a bundle: you’ll get content from DC, Criterion Collection, Looney Tunes, Studio Ghibli, Turner Classic Movies, and Crunchyroll.

Most mobile devices that can stream video support HBO Max, although there is yet no app for Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.

2. You can watch
David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020)
on
Vudu

Device availability:
 Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, iOS, LG Smart TV, Playsation, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, TiVo, Vizio, Xbox, Xfinity Flex
Vudu is an on-demand streaming service that allows users to rent or purchase more than 200,000 new releases. Founded in 2007, it's one of the first companies to offer digital films in HD. Vudu's main strength is its ease of access and jam-packed catalog of movies and TV shows, but it also boasts free content, which they run on ads. In 2020, media and ticketing firm Fandango acquired Vudu and merged both companies' streamers into one. They decided to keep the Vudu name because of its vast and loyal customer base.

3. You can watch
David Byrne’s American Utopia (2020)
on
Crave

Price:
 $9.99 per month
Device availability:
 Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Bell Streamer, Chromecast, iOS, LG Smart TV, PlayStation, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Website, Xbox
Crave is a Canadian subscription service founded in 2014 that gives users exclusive access to US titles and theater releases, as well as original shows, live content, and Canada-only movies and series. In particular, the service has a deal with studios Warner Bros. and Paramount, and with channels HBO, HBO Max, Showtime, Comedy Central, and MTV, so you can be sure to find the most in-demand releases on the service. Crave plans start at $9.99/month for single users, while the premium package costs $19.99/month.
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