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OK, I'm a long time Neil fan, and I must admit to a little trepidation upon going to see this film tonight; one of the great things about Neil is that you never know what you're going to get. Prairie Wind turns out to be a beautiful meditation on mortality and age. Age is everywhere in this movie: Neil's never looked older (though he still looks great), Emmy Lou Harris's crystalline beauty is yielding to age (though her smile after the dog tune was still as radiant as ever); Larry Cragg is, well, craggier than ever. Mixed in here are the recent death of Neil's father, the coming of age of his daughter Amber, and his own brush with mortality in the form of a brain aneurysm. Jonathan Demme's work allows the luminosity to shine through undiminished; the ambivalence and intensity contained in some of the songs, especially 'When God Made Me' is amplified by the Demme's fearless framing and ability to stay on a single shot minute after minute. Neil Fans: Look for a few great cameos: Old Black being played by someone who is not Neil; Larry Cragg playing the banjo lick on 'Old Man' (sweet); and even Cortez the Killer makes an appearance (but not inside the Ryman). Notice Pegi's gracious reaction when Neil dedicates a tune to Nicolette Larson. I had the great pleasure to see the film with my young son, and it was moving to see him take it all in. All in all, a really moving movie....I'll be seeing it again.
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