A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
There are more than 50 sets of twins in David Byrne's "True Stories," I learned by studying the press notes, and perhaps we should pause here for a moment to meditate upon that fact. A hundred twins are not going to make or break a movie, and the average audience is not going to notice more than a fraction of them.
Consider the state of mind of the person who decided the film should have 50 sets of twins.
That person undoubtedly is Byrne. What was he thinking of? My hunch is that he was thinking about the movie's voodoo: the magical things that go on beneath the surface of the work of art, lending it an aura that seeps up into the visible parts. Any movie made by actors and technicians who know that the director has hired 50 sets of twins is going to be a movie made by people who think the director is a very strange man. And that will affect their work. Even the ordinary moments in "True Stories" seem a little odd, as if the actors are trying to humor the weirdo they're working for.
Byrne says the movie was influenced by true stories he read in the papers, and he has published a book of some of those stories he has collected. They range from the mundane (the happily married couple who have not spoken to one another for 15 years) to the cosmic (the Universal Product Code on grocery items is the advance sign of the coming of the Antichrist).