American Utopia First Look

Watch the Splendid Teaser for “David Byrne’s American Utopia”

David Byrne's spectacular American Utopia tour found a brief home on Broadway before the world turned upside down in the spring. A modified version of his tour from the previous year (which I was lucky enough to see), the shows at the Hudson Theatre added in monologues about the challenges facing our world pre-pandemic. Spike Lee filmed a few of those performances to make up David Byrne's American Utopia, which will soon air on HBO and stream on HBO MAX.

Already announced as the opening night selection of the Toronto International Film Festival - which won't have its traditional in-person premieres - we finally get our first look at the incredible live show. Unsurprisingly, it's upbeat and focused on his cover of Janelle Monae's "Hell You Talmbout," and includes a snippet of Byrne quoting James Baldwin. If you're looking for a great concert doc, "This Must Be the Place."

David Byrne's American Utopia will premiere on HBO and HBO MAX on October 17, just over a month after it premieres at TIFF. And for Canadian audiences, the film will also stream on Crave.

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About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.