Neil Young - Heart of Gold - The Movie

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Neil Young - Heart of Gold - The Movie

Postby maccastheman » Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:11 pm

Has anybody else seen this Johnathan Demme movie? I just got back from the theater and I was almost brought to tears several times.

The entire movie was filmed in Nashville - mostly at the historic Ryman Auditorium. It's such an intimate concert film. The first half of the set list consisted of songs from Prairie Wind, and the second half was basically his country/rock greatest hits. (Including "Old Man," "The Needle and the Damage Done," "Comes a Time," Harvest Moon," etc.) Despite its popularity and the countless number of times it's been played on the radio, "Heart of Gold" was an extremely powerful centerpiece, and hearing it performed in the film was a purely moving experience.

I'll be honest - I haven't yet bought Prairie Wind, but after seeing this movie I know what my next music purchase will be. The album received such mixed reviews when it was released, but after seeing the power of the new songs right in front of my eyes I don't know how anybody couldn't be moved by them.

The last album of his I bought was Silver and Gold, but I didn't even bother getting Are You Passionate or Greendale. I liked Silver and Gold, but I liked the DVD concert film even better. (Shot in Austin) I think Neil just sounds better live. (Although I've never seen him)

The band he has with him in the film is top-notch. (Emmylou Harris, Spooner Oldham, Wayne Jackson of the Memphis Horns, etc.)

Johnathan Demme did an incredible job with this one. (Almost as good as Stop Making Sense IMHO) The cinemetography is just unbelievable. You feel like you are sitting right there on stage with the band. It's probably the best straight-forward concert film I've ever seen. (Stop Making Sense was more of a concept piece)
And in the end...
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Postby Genuine_Indian_Guru2 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:13 pm

Yeah...Prairie Wind is such a great album!
I really love the tune "When God Made Me"..I get the same vibe as if I were listening to "Let it Be".
Sundays on the phone to monday....Tuesdays on the phone to me.
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Postby Paperback Writer » Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:26 pm

Thanks for the great review,Maccastheman, I hope Paul considers your points made about a "concert film" as he prepares the DVD of last tour!
"Step on the gas and wipe that tear away,
One sweet dream came true today!"
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Postby maccastheman » Sun Feb 26, 2006 11:59 pm

Paperback Writer wrote:Thanks for the great review,Maccastheman, I hope Paul considers your points made about a "concert film" as he prepares the DVD of last tour!


Yeah, this one was definitely done right. It's a great feature film. I'm glad I got to see it on the big screen. I can't wait for it to come out on DVD. It would be really cool to see a Macca concert like that on the big screen. I wonder what director he could pick?
And in the end...
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Postby Genuine_Indian_Guru » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:18 am

Martin Scorsese
I go back so far... I'm in front of me!
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Postby 2 of 3 » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:53 am

How about the guy who did Help, and A Hard Day's Night?
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Postby maccastheman » Mon Feb 27, 2006 12:59 am

Sir.derekwarner wrote:Martin Scorsese


I thought about that, but I'm not so sure Scorsese is a big Macca fan. The Last Waltz was incredible, however. So was No Direction Home. I just think Scorsese likes bluesier and folkier artists like Dylan, the Band, etc.
Demme actually wouldn't be a bad choice - there's quite a range between Talking Heads and Neil Young. I think Macca would fit in pretty well somewhere in there...
And in the end...
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Postby maccastheman » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:49 pm

The DVD is out now. I'm watching it as I type. It's kind of fitting that the DVD came out the Tuesday after Prairie Home Companion opened in theaters. You kind of get the same vibe from both of them - the "down home" feel, Midwestern/Central Candadian "values," etc. The stories Neil tells between songs aren't quite as off-the-wall or funny as the ones told on Prairie Home Companion, but that's not really the point. You still get that "folksy" feel.

Plus both films were primarily recorded in historic/older auditoriums. The music is also very similar. (Country/Folk/Gospel - even a lot of Neil's songs have a gospel feel. I love the black gospel choir)

I think this kind of music is fitting for Neil at this point in his career. He looks more natural playing this kind of music at this age. The last really good Crazy Horse album he recorded, IMHO, is Sleeps With Angels, and I think that's kind of appropriate considering it was kind of a coda to the grunge era. (Since so many of the songs were about or at least seemed they were about Kurt Cobain's suicide) It was also one of the most mellow albums recorded by Crazy Horse.

I wasn't a big fan of Broken Arrow or the live album that followed the tour, Year of the Horse.

I did like Silver and Gold, and it was more in the Prairie Wind/Harvest/Harvest Moon mold.

As for Living With War, I don't think it will be remembered too many years from now. The sound is kind of unique with the horns and the choir, but the songs just seemed kind of forgettable. (Although they make a strong immediate statement) There's no "Ohio" that sticks out in my mind.

Although the music in Heart of Gold could easily be labeled "Country Rock," I like the variety of musicians he has in the band. They add more dimensions - from the soul of half of the Memphis Horns (Wayne Jackson) to the aforementioned gospel choir to the string section.

It's kind of cool to see all of the different angles of the Ryman auditorium. I've only been there once, but it's bringing back lots of memories.

Also the special features are great - show rehersals, an long interview with Neil, etc.

My favorite quote by Neil:
"We're not playing in LA, we're not playing in Madison Square Garden, we're coming home..." Having grown up in "fly-over" country, not far from Memphis, New Orleans, and Nashville, it's really cool to see an artist like Neil Young record a film there to pay his respects. Another great DVD to watch just for the documentary of the surrounding area is Elvis Costello's Club Date - Live in Memphis. He tours Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississppi.

It's also really cool that they added Neil's performance of "The Needle and the Damage Done" from the Johnny Cash show on the second disc.

Note to Macca: This is how a concert film should be done!!!
And in the end...
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Postby EddieV » Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:33 am

The movie is ccoming to my town. Can´t wait to see it.
Now junior behave yourself
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