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This past May, Neil Young brought his solo tour to Toronto's Massey Hall, an iconic venue in the city of his birth. Jonathan Demme was on hand to capture the two nights, which highlighted new songs from the album Le Noise, produced by Daniel Lanois, mixed with classics like "Ohio" and "I Believe in You." At sixty-five, Young retains a youthful vitality and musical curiosity that balances his wisdom and experience. It's no wonder he's been an inspiration to the likes of Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth. In Neil Young Journeys, Demme intersperses the Massey Hall concert footage with brief scenes from a road trip through Ontario. Driving a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, Young visits the rural town of Omemee, where he spent a key part of his formative years, and reminisces about his former neighbors and their daughters. As he drives past bulldozers transforming the landscape, he remarks, 'It's all gone... it's still in my head.' Written by
I went in expecting a good Neil Young flick, but was very disappointed. Showing old footage of Kent State was a downer, and seemed to be put in randomly even while singing "Ohio." They could have done a much more interesting job filming his hometown, and for a while the film just goes back and forth from him driving through Ontario and performing at Massey Hall. I was surprised that I was fidgeting in my seat and feeling bored because I love his music and have been a fan for years. There are a few very soulful songs, and rock songs, and as always his music can touch your soul. That didn't make up for the weird artsy close-ups of his neck and chin, and finding yourself wondering what they were trying to achieve with those shots. Five younger women walked out halfway through when he started singing about being a grandparent, and probably couldn't relate, two other people left as well. I am kind of amazed that I didn't like it because I'm really a fan and have always loved his music, but I'm also a movie lover, and this one just didn't cut it. If you love him, rent it and you will see for yourself. If you're not a fan, then just skip it.
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