David Byrne is best known as the front man and main creative force behind 80s band Talking Heads. His subsequent solo career has shown him to be one of our most astute and intelligent commentators on modern America in particular and modern life in general. This film reflects many of his obsessions and interests with the everyday strangeness of American life and those who live it, as well as featuring several outstanding and often bizarre versions of Talking Heads songs. While the rest of the band appear as, well, the band, Byrne himself takes the role of guide and narrator as he leads us into the sad, creepy, optimistic, gaudy, happy, peculiar, daily lives of the inhabitants of a small town in Texas. Byrne, as he often does, comes across as being set at a remove from his subjects, like an anthropologist enjoying the company of gorillas whilst being slightly wary of them and unsure of the rules by which their social interactions work. We then see the other characters in the film partly through Byrne's distorting lens, focusing unerringly on the oddity at the heart of their ordinariness. It is to Byrne's credit that he does this with clear and obvious affection for his subjects. He somehow manages to be satirical without being at all snide. The result is frequently funny, sometimes touching, always intriguing and really quite revealing.
Clearly it's not for everyone. Some will find it too weird, others perhaps not weird enough. However, if you liked Talking Heads or if you like Byrne's subsequent solo work, there's a fair chance you'll get what this movie sets out to do, which is much that same as what Byrne's music tries to do, that is to hold up a mirror to modern America in which we may see ourselves more clearly.