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Greendale

4.0 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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(Jul 27, 2004)
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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!

Amazon.com

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

Special Features

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

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: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001YA1S6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Greendale" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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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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Format: DVD
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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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. There is not really any original ideas here. I was told it was a deep complex video with deep symbolism that takes many people several viewings to be able to fully understand. I got it the first time in detail. Have watched it several time and still fail to see any depth and complexity outside of the simplicity that Neil projects under the guise of deep complexity in most of his work. He is just an over grown child telling his story over and over.
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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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are into the Greendale CD, this dvd is 1 of 4 necessary elements to fully experience and enjoy Neil's entire project.
Start with visiting the original" Greendale" website, get the music CD, watch the "Be the Rain" video on YouTube, buy and read the very cool book, and put it all together with this movie. It is what it is for quality..grainy, which is what I suspect Neil wanted...but it flows great, and how can you not be in love with Sarah White? I suspect this will appeal to a "cult" type audience...those who thoroughly enjoy the many things Neil Young has done over the years.
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