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Greendale (2004)

Sarah White , Eric Johnson , Neil Young  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah White, Eric Johnson, Ben Keith, Erik Markegard, Elizabeth Keith
  • Directors: Neil Young
  • Writers: Neil Young
  • Producers: Neil Young, Elliot Rabinowitz, L.A. Johnson, Marcy Gensic
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Widescreen, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sanctuary
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001YA1S6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,140 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Greendale" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Region 0 (NTSC format)
  • Making of Greendale
  • Family tree
  • Characters
  • Extra performance

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Contempt for corruption, love of the environment, respect for our elders-this Neil Young film sums up what he's been singing about for decades. He and Crazy Horse perform Devil's Sidewalk; Falling from Above; Be the Rain , and more, and the film's characters lip-sync his lyrics in this boldly creative work by one of America's most fearless and enduring artists. DVD bonuses: interviews with Neil, a "making-of" and live performances of three Greendale songs!

Cinematographer, occasional film director, and, yes, longtime rock star Neil Young personally made (under the silly pseudonym Bernard Shakey) the fascinating, strangely affecting, and feature-length experiment Greendale as an after-the-fact movie to accompany his CD of the same name. Shot with low-tech equipment, the grainy, overlit Greendale sets a dreamy, David Lynch-like mood as Young tells the story of the fictional Green family, who live in a Northern California town that bears their name. Multi-generational anti-war activists and pro-environmental warriors, the Greens become beleaguered in a world of intensifying media scrutiny, corporate arrogance, personal tragedy, and the devil himself (in the form of a dancing dude in a red suit), culminating in the family's disillusionment and renewed commitment. There's no dialogue: The lyrics of Young's song cycle speak for the characters, making Greendale a novel hybrid of music video and visionary movie. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Speaks His Mind February 8, 2005
By Norm
It took a few listenings a while back, but Greendale the CD has worn its way into my top 3 favorite albums by Neil Young. I bought Greendale the DVD more as a curiosity knowing, at worst, I don't mind having video to go with the music.

Greendale starts as a disarmingly-simple introduction to the Green family and ends with 2 powerful, wake-up-call anthems. The actors, who sync the lyrics, make it all interesting and watchable. The journey takes on a surreal quality in fairly short time. Statements about corruption in the White House, corporate greed and our responsibility to the environment are even stronger in the film than they are on the cd. It amazes me that time hasn't worn the edge off Neil Young to speak his mind. This is a day and age when we're supposed to be afraid.

I had a great time watching this dvd. I can't compare it to anything I've seen. Ideally a person might know the music before watching the film; and also just appreciate film as an art. The 5.1 sound is great.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Despite the shortcomings, the movie works July 30, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Overall, the movie is a mess with grainy film quality, bad acting, no dialogue, out of focus images, washed out images, cheesy visual effects, lip synching that doesn't always line up and sometimes appears silly, and no real revelations provided to the underlying story. BUT, and that is a big but, it all works together to present a quirky little movie that is watchable. The sound is tremendous though and makes up for some of the negatives. Despite all the shortcomings, you do get drawn into this little town of Greendale and the strange characters that live there.

The added features are nice - a great live stage version of "Be The Rain" really kicks and shows the power of the live show and how well Neil has combined the live show with the movie or vice versa. The Making of Greendale (about 25 minutes) segment is good and surprisingly clear and in focus as opposed to the movie. It does show that Neil and his team have some skills in making movies. Lyrics, Family Tree, and character bios are also included.
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46 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars AS I was saying, characters from Pynchon.... May 10, 2004
Young and Crazy Horse are basically characters from Pynchon (LOT 49, VINELAND) come to life, often with results that seem equally absurd, poignant, heartfelt, goofey, amateurish, honest. And all of that is on display in this film, particularly Young's anti-Spielberg aesthetics, which is cause enough for celebration. That mix of burn-out eco-hippie-polemics has served Young and the Horse well. One need only look at footage of some of their arguments in Year of the Horse, Live in Berlin, to realize just how comical they are when they are seriously pissed at each other.
This film, however, has a point, and is embraced by what is one of Young's best collections of songs in a very long while. Characteristically, it is as unprofessionally "acted" and shot as you can get, and therein lies its charm. The "actors" are basically road and musician colleagues assembled by Young to mouth the words of his songs, intercut with montage pieces reflecting the spirit or message of a song. It is the same approach he used with his classic JOURNEY THROUGH THE PAST film from the seventies (Hey, Neil, where's the DVD of that or even the soundtrack?).
I'm likely the only one who has ever seen JOURNEY 11 times, and I don't suspect that I'll attempt that with this film, but amid his goofiness as a filmmaker, Neil has quite a lot to say about the state of mind of the US, at least as seen through the prism of this one family. In doing so, he addresses greed, karma, the environment, and the nature of one's nationality set against this backdrop of violence that is all American Eagle, and none of the compassion of Liberty.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars greendale March 13, 2006
Neil Young is an incredibley enigmatic atrist. I can watch this DVD over and over because although the movie is really good, the music is absolutley astounding. I would say for those who have never heard of neil to have an open mind while viewing and you'll encounter a zone of reality that may have never occured to you before. The CD by the same title comes with an accompaning DVD wich neil does a solo accoustic set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Visit Greendale," pop: Neil Young's muses... June 4, 2006
By Aco
How cool is Neil Young? He writes an album, creating a piece about a fictional California coast town, then produces, shoots and directs a film of it. Essentially a lo-fi series of videos for the album, the film is edited out of chronological order, aptly telling the story of Greendale, CA, USA. Very creative and interesting, if not slowish at times. But it remains under two hours and hell, its Neil Young music with visuals. Praise!
If you love Young, you'll like this, if not it may be a stretch. But his willingness to communicate his feelings for small town life, the turmoil of mistakes and unlawfullness, the tribute to family, marriage and love, and the commitment to fighting the good fight are all here.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars IF NOT GREAT VERY, VERY GOOD December 19, 2004
This movie is a good movie with a lot of familiar faces including Ben Keith. The video goes good with the music but what makes the DVD worth the money is the live version of "Be The Rain". Ther is nothing better than a live version of a Neil song on video. Plus his daughter dances rather well in it! If you haven't seen this video it s worth the asking price.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I like Neil Young and his music but the more I ...
I like Neil Young and his music but the more I learn about him and his idealism the less I appreciate his work. This movie and the music lack creativity and imagination. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Brian V.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very cool!
If you are into the Greendale CD, this dvd is 1 of 4 necessary elements to fully experience and enjoy Neil's entire project. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Greenthumb
5.0 out of 5 stars another Neil Young life lesson
its Neil Young !!! what else do i need to say ??? this was slagged off quite a bit but by those who after 40 years still think hes going to finally put out album after album of... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Robert W. Dudek
5.0 out of 5 stars neat
great neat good super awesome good excellent .it was wonderful surprise delightful summer of as fun as a pearl jam show
Published 19 months ago by PearlJam
4.0 out of 5 stars Dont overlook this classic
If you like Neil and havent seen this, you're overdue. This is essntial Neil Young. It was performed as a play on stage, and then made into a movie (this DVD) . Read more
Published 20 months ago by Paul from LI
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
I love this movie. A totally shot for shot re-creation of the lyrics on the album but done so well it's like hearing it for the first time again. I love it.
Published 20 months ago by John Tewksbury
5.0 out of 5 stars Greendale
Very Good Music,and Video.I've Been on Live Concert of Greendale at Rosemont Theatre.
Published on January 27, 2010 by Pawelczak Jacek
5.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Neil in story and song for the first time since Rust Never Sleeps. And on a Telecaster, too.

Google the album site and enjoy the map of the town where the devil takes... Read more
Published on July 8, 2008 by theresa
5.0 out of 5 stars The Green family in Iraq
I was prompted to buy this DVD when a soldier serving in Iraq requested it. There are projects like "Books for Soldiers" and "[... Read more
Published on October 14, 2007 by Preston C. Enright
1.0 out of 5 stars amateur hour

A film written and directed by Neil Young, "Greendale" is little more than an 87-minute music video set to a dozen or so of the artist's works. Read more
Published on February 18, 2005 by Roland E. Zwick
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