In May of 2011, Neil Young drove a 1956 Crown Victoria from his idyllic hometown of Omemee, Ontario to downtown Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall where he intimately performed the last two nights of his solo world tour. Along the drive, Young recounted insightful and introspective stories from his youth to Academy Award® winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme. This all-new documentary includes 12 live c..
Fall 2012 is the "season of the Young" (well Neil Young, anyway), and I seem to be immersed in "things Young", going through his new autobiography in both hardbound book and the audiobook version (read by Keith Carradine). Now comes this Bluray disc of the 2012 feature film/concert documentary "Neil Young Journeys", directed by Jonathan Demme. This is either the third, or fifth (depending on how you define "film") Demme/Young film and - as Demme points out in the bonus features - completely different from the previous projects. And it's wonderful.
The majority of the 89-minutes consists of Young performing during the last two nights of his "Le Noise" solo tour at the historic Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada (where Young was born). But Demme wanted to show more about Young so he rented a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria (Young is a car buff as well as a huge Lionel train fan) and had him start in Omemee, the town in northern Ontario where Young grew up (they moved from Toronto early on), following his brother Bob (in another vintage car), Demme drove with him to Toronto. They visit sites important to Young in his early life and Young tells some funny stories. But, as I said, the 12 songs performed in the concerts (the two concerts were edited together) form the nucleolus of the film. In addition to the songs on his 2011 album, we get two previously unreleased songs and as well as the "hits", including "After The Gold Rush", "My My Hey Hey" and "Ohio" - the latter being embellished by film clips of the Kent State shootings and photos of the four students killed. Demme uses some odd camera techniques and on two songs (including "Down by the River") he uses a tiny camera mounted on the mic stand and we get close-ups of Young's teeth!!! The instrumentation is varied as well with Young on both acoustic and electric guitar as well as piano and organ. The film itself is great!
But, those who have seen the film will want the DVD or BD as well because of the bonuses. There is a short (six-minute) "making of" featurette but the real meat is in the TWO "conversations with Young and Demme", each running about 35 minutes. First comes the Slamdance Festival screening where Demme does most of the talking and it's about filmmaking, though Young does make some comments. The better one is the "conversation" held at the 92nd St. Y in New York where the interviewer (oddly, never identified - even in the credits) moves the discussion to Young's music. We hear his outspoken thoughts about the "quality of sound" and how "MP3s suck". By the way, both "conversations" are "edited" for expletives. Some of the same stories are repeated in both "conversations" but each has its own rewards.
This is not only a must for Young fans but a fine introduction to those who only know Young from his "hits" on the radio.
Note that the bonuses are the same on both the DVD and Bluray.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
I recently rushed to a small inner city cinema in Melbourne to see the Saturday midday screening of "Neil Young Journeys". Joining me were five others - and we all joked about how we couldn't understand why the cinema wasn't full!!
This movie is brilliant. We get to be with Neil as he rambles around "a town in north Ontario" and gain a glimpse into his younger days. We are right on stage as he takes us through song after memorable song from all stages of his career - oh the playing. Jonathon Demme's direction is superb - you are on a journey into the theatre and on to the stage.
Neil plays with such power and passion - be warned about the impact of those first chords of "Ohio" - and also sweetness and respect for his subject matter.
Video: 1080p 16x9 Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96khz/24 Bit) Time: 87 minutes Neil Young Solo And Acoustic (And Electric) Filmed In May 2011 At Massey Hall In Toronto,ON.
Bonus Features: -Trailer -Neil Young And Jonathan Demme Slamdance Conversation -Neil Young And Jonathan Demme 92Y Conversation -Making Of Journeys
Songs: -Helpless and Cortez The Killer In The Background During Various Scenes -Peaceful Valley Blvd -Ohio -Down By The River -Sign Of Love -Rumbling -Love And War -Leia -After The Gold Rush -I Believe In You -My, My, Hey, Hey (Into The Blue) -You Never Called -Hitchhiker -Walk With Me
Movie goes well with Neil's new book, Waging Heavy Peace and Neil Young and Crazy Horse's upcoming album on 10/30/12, Psychedelic Pill.
This is an intriguing Documentary of Neil Young as he returns home for a Special Performance and much more! This Amazing Artist performs with his guitars and keyboards from iconic hits to brand-new material. Also included is a portrait of his life, his homeland, and on-tour Entertainment. He always Rocked from the very beginning of his career and is still a Shining Star in the music industry. Stunning Performance, very Interesting and Enjoyable for all Neil Young Fans from the 'Oldies But Goodies' to a New generation. Highly Recommended!
Journeys is a pretty good film. It includes some amazing Performances from the Twisted Road tour and also some behind the scenes of Neil Young. I expected to have more of the driving and stories about Young's "Journeys", but the info included was quite funny and entertaining. The concert is amazing, except for a couple songs. "Down By The River" and " Hitchiker" have a strange camera shot that focuses on Young's jawline and mouth and does not show much to any guitar work. This was a strange use of camera work. It seems to be a mini cam placed on the mic stand. All in all, this is not as good as Rust Never Sleeps. It ranks up with Heart of Gold. Heart of Gold may be a little better. 4 out of 5.