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BETWEEN THE TEETH

USA, 1993 (MIFF 1994, Documentaries)

Director: David Byrne, David Wild

There's no stopping contemporary renaissance man David Byrne. The painter turned art-rocker who became a pop star has more recently turned his interests to photography, musical anthropology and filmmaking. Between The Teeth is his first feature length film (co-directed with David Wild) and like the seminal Stop Making Sense it takes viewers into the front row and surrounds them with song.

Filmed during Byrne's most recent tour with his band Ten Car Pileup, Between The Teeth strips away the usual concert film mythologising to truly capture the music, the man and the band.

The essence of the idea is to reveal the heart and soul of the music and lyrics directly. Each song is given a separate mood, shot with its own stylistic coda - some shot entirely in extreme close-up, some captured like a crime scene, others covered with a hand held camera or uncovered by slow-moving tracking shots. The approach matches Byrne's genius for diversity in what amounts to a musical a la carte menu from a duet with a beat box, to a big band Afro-Funk workout. The concert covers a wide range of material, from late period Talking Heads and Byrne's solo work, to songs you've never heard him do before. Ten Car Pileup comprises George Porter Jr (Meters bassist), Arturo Sandoval's drummer Oscar Salas, Bobby Allende (percussion), Jonathan Best (keyboards). Angel Fernandez (Musical Director, trumpet), Ite Jerez (trumpet), Louis Kahn (trombone and violin), Hector Rosado (percussion) and Steve Sacks (alto saxophone).

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