True Stories (1986)
June 12, 2022 4:30 PM - Subscribe

Talking Heads singer David Byrne plays host to this bizarre patchwork of tabloid-inspired tales, set in the fictional town of Virgil, Texas. Cruising the streets in his cherry-red drop-top, Byrne introduces viewers to the local eccentrics gearing up for the town's 150th anniversary. They include a community leader (Spalding Gray) with a thing for veggies, a woman (Swoosie Kurtz) so lazy she won't leave her bed, a lovelorn country singer (John Goodman) and more. Byrne co-wrote, composed the music, and directed.

Currently available for digital rental in the US on various outlets.
posted by DirtyOldTown (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The movie also inspired the name for the band Radiohead.
posted by chrisulonic at 6:44 PM on June 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

Cruising the streets in his cherry-red drop-top

By the way...this isn't a rental car. No, this is privately owned!
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:57 AM on June 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

He found himself behind the wheel of a large automobile.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:39 AM on June 13, 2022 [8 favorites]

This was a watershed movie for me in the early nineties. My step-father made us all sit down to watch the rented VHS and I couldn't understand it - after years of Roseanne I knew that John Goodman was an actor, and yet here he was purporting to be someone else, in a movie called True Stories... could it be that they weren't true stories? Yet it had all the hallmarks of a talking heads documentary... and that guy, I recognise him from MTV, he's the singer in Talking Heads. Is that why they're called Talking Heads?! Is this like MTV's The Real World but with actors?

I think my stepdad spent longer than the runtime explaining to me what had been going on.
posted by Molesome at 8:05 AM on June 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

My first CD!
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:10 PM on June 13, 2022

I saw this when it came out and watched it again a couple of months ago and was very happy that it held up so well.
posted by acrasis at 4:11 PM on June 13, 2022

It was only released to one theater in Houston. Absolutely criminal.
posted by Beholder at 7:13 PM on June 13, 2022

I love this film. This is one of the movies I watch when I'm feeling anxious and terrible and need something calming and relatively conflict-free (the other one is The Muppet Movie). I've had to buy several copies, because I keep giving copies of this movie away to other people. A true celebration of specialNESS.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:49 PM on June 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

was very happy that it held up so well

It really does hold up. I think it may actually play better now than it did upon release. Byrne's perspective may seem less skewed that it used too, in a more media-saturated era.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2022

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