“‘Neil Young Journeys’ is quite an encore” Says NY Daily News – Todays Movie News
For the third time, the “Silence of the Lambs” director has returned to the Young well to create a raw and mangy concert movie. Demme’s latest wet-kiss to the star follows 2006’s “Heart of Gold,” which captured a flinty acoustic-based performance in Nashville, and ’09’s “Trunk Show,” which chronicled a gnarlier electric performance from the “Chrome Dreams II” tour.
Of the trilogy, “Journeys” has the most rarity and resonance. It lets Young bring it all back home — literally. Demme breaks up the concert segments with footage of the icon navigating a 1956 Ford Crown Vic around his childhood hometown, a place blessed with a name both musical and narcissistic: Omemee (located in rural Ontario). As Young surveys his old house and school, he tells boyhood tales of blowing up frogs and the neighbor kid who convinced him to eat tar. (He told him it turns to chocolate.)
It’s a quirky and apt backdrop for songs that often ruminate on the weight of the past and its effect on the present. While the music, recorded at Toronto’s Massey Hall, features old faves (“After the Gold Rush,” “Ohio”), its spiritual core rests on pieces from Young’s 2010 CD “Le Noise,” a work unlike anything the artist has ever created. While Young normally splits his projects between solo acoustic and full-band electric pieces, “Noise” found him creating lone songs with a wild, plugged-in guitar. In the movie’s most exciting songs, Young employs instruments specially created for him by producer Daniel Lanois. They create deep bass sounds and rich electro-distortions. Thanks to the theater’s acoustics, the sound shoots right through you. It’s an audio marvel — a good thing since the visuals can be downright weird.
Demme framed Young in extreme close-up. Many shots lingering on the nether-region between his lower lip and upper neck. It’s such an intimate look, when some of Young’s spit lands on the camera lens, Demme lets it ooze for minutes on end. That’s one way to bring an icon close.
Of course, the music is the thing and the sounds here earn Demme’s reverence. It’s thrilling to hear Young deliver the agitated riffs of “Ohio” with just his lone guitar, and haunting to hear him deliver a new song like “You Never Call,” with such an urgent chill. Young seems fully engaged even in the hoariest pieces (“I Believe in You”). But it’s a newer one, “Rumblin’,” which best makes the case for the movie’s worth. Its electric guitar notes shake and vibrate to create sound waves that don’t just excite but envelop. They’re an ideal reminder of just how deep this Young well runs.
Magic Moment: Young plays “Ohio” using shots of the Kent State massacre that inspired it.
Read the rest of the article here: ‘Neil Young Journeys’ is quite an encore – Movies – NY Daily News
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