noon, March 25
Review: Neil Young Journeys
Jonathan Demme returns to the concert documentary, this time capturing a late-career solo show from the man who famously sang, "It's better to burn out than to fade away." (Appropriately, it's a bookend playlist, with most of the songs hailing from circa 1970 or 2010.) Young himself may have faded a bit — certainly his voice is thinner than it used to be — but both his guitar work and his demeanor declare that the fires within continue to rage. (Even when his lyrics are at their most tender, he looks like he's snarling.) The pre-concert footage, taken on a drive from Young's hometown to Toronto's Massey Hall, serves mostly to make a regular guy out of a man famous for hounding the status quo. (The famed environmentalist admits to killing a turtle in his youth by "sticking a firecracker up its ass.") Demme's camera work matches Young quirk for quirk: a close-up of nose, mouth, and chin vs. an oddly extended repetition of the word "wife."
Reader rating: one star.
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