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An Appreciation of True Stories, a Movie by David Byrne about (the fictional town of ) Virgil, Texas

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Click here to read about David Byrne, musician and social activist, at Wiki:

David Byrne in 2006, by Wikipedia

Who over 45 and a musician or a popular music fan is unaware of the great David Byrne?   In the 1980's, I was definitely not into pop music.  Until I saw David Byrne and his Talking Heads on television.   Subsequently, I stoned out on Jonathan Demme's live presentation of a David Byrne concert, Stop Making Sense (1984).   In the concert, Byrne came out on the deserted stage by himself with a large, box tape player, and played a song solo accompanied by the tape; then he was joined by a second member of the band (a fairly nervous knockout blond on bass), and they played a song or two together; then the two were joined by other members of the band, in multiples, with the different sets of musicians playing different Talking Heads songs, until the full band of ten or twelve was onstage.

Subsequently, oh, maybe a decade ago, I purchased, watched, and was intrigued by the DVD of David Byrne's movie True Stories.  

True Stories Poster (1986), by Wikipedia

True Stories is about a part of Texas from which I do NOT come, north Texas.   And the movie captured the essence of the inane provinciality which was increasingly characterizing Ronald Reagan's America, which paved the way to the country's 21st century crimes against humanity while threatening to continue them ad infinitum.  

David Byrne in 1978, by Wikipedia

Thank God True Stories is a comedy and co-stars the larger-than-life John Goodman and the incomparable Swoozie Kurtz; as well as a host of lesser Hollywood stars; and the BAND at that time, for that movie -- playing riotously funny Talking Heads social commentary sometimes in Mexican and, sometimes in English.

Plus of course, numerous "locals" played either by wonderful Hollywood actors or by Texans themselves -- who are necessary for the Big Finale -- A Celebration of Virgil, Texas' "Special-Ness."   After which David himself is shown driving out of Virgil and into the Texas Nothingness, and a truly ageless song comes up with a little Texas girl walking into the limitless distance to "This Highway of Fire."

To prepare this article, I watched True Stories for probably the seventh time.   And for the first time, I realized that it defies even an impressionistic appreciation.   Get the DVD from your local library or from Netflix, if you don't want to buy it.   If you're a Texan and a progressive, you should be shot if you don't.   For the rest of the world, viewing True Stories is only most highly recommended.


I have a law degree (Stanford, 66') but have never practiced. Instead, from 1967 through 1977, I tried to contribute to the revolution in America. As unsuccessful as everyone else over that decade, in 1978 I went to work for the U.S. Forest (more...)

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This sounds like a movie I should get. One thing t... by Robert Beverly on Monday, Dec 12, 2011 at 10:42:52 AM
When you see it, you'll understand how I concluded... by GLloyd Rowsey on Monday, Dec 12, 2011 at 5:01:33 PM
True Stories is set in "the fictional town of Virg... by GLloyd Rowsey on Monday, Dec 12, 2011 at 5:20:26 PM
Vidor is about 20 miles +/- from the Lousiana Bord... by Robert Beverly on Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011 at 10:48:20 AM