Tuesday, August 13, 2013

On Neil Young Journeys

In the last three years the number of films made with or about (and occasionally by) Neil Young has mounted up to the extent that is difficult to remember which song was in which film. Parallel to an overdose of NY album releases - marked by two recent, and rather disappointing, Crazy Horse sessions - camera seems to love this Canadian singer/songwriter, still, at 66, a restless rocker in search of a Woodstock dream. Also, the age, 66, resembles the golden number American popular music and the cross country highway of freedom in anything from Nat King Cole to Dennis Hopper.

The aforementioned filmic portrayals are: in 2009 Young was given his entry to the American Masters series in Don't Be Denied. Unlike Bob Dylan film from the same program, which had Martin Scorsese’s name in the credit, Don't Be Denied was denied soon after its initial broadcast and went into oblivion. On the same year, Jonathan Demme filmed the electric storm of a NY tour in the Trunk Show. In 2010 the electric solo album, Le Noise, with its murky, elegiac lyricism turned into a 40 minute-long YouTube video, shot in a beautiful L.A. mansion with a feeling of LSD all throughout the film. And now, Demme’s fourth film with NY (after Complex Sessions, 1994; Heart of Gold, 2006 and the Trunk Show) seems in better shape and Younger than all the recent efforts.

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