Neil Young Journeys (2012)
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 filmmaker Jonathan Demme. Demme, a long-time fan and collaborator, captured these tales of Young's childhood and masterfully weaved them together with his mesmerizing music including songs from the 2010 album Le Noise and powerful renditions of classics including "Ohio", Hey Hey, My My", "I Believe in You" and previously unreleased songs "Leia" and "You Never Call." Through the tunes and the tales, Demme portrays a personal, retrospective look into the heart and soul of the artist. -- (C) Sony Pictures Classics … More
as Neil Young
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Critic Reviews for Neil Young Journeys
On its own terms, "Neil Young Journeys" is an enjoyable concert film of a solo show in Toronto, interspersed with memories of his Canadian boyhood.
I'd say the movie does a fine job of completing the trilogy, but I wouldn't be surprised if Demme and Young have more in them yet.
The concert camera work is sometimes a little tight for comfort (not really interested in Young's bridge work), though it adds to the intensity.
Like Young, Demme often takes an iconoclastic route. This is in part a concert film, yes, but not a traditional one.
Forget Crosby, Stills and Nash and maybe even Crazy Horse. Jonathan Demme might be Neil Young's ultimate collaborator.
Young's amiable, guard-down chatter as he drives that 1956 Ford Crown Victoria all the way from Omemee to Massey Hall in Toronto establishes a sense of heart and soul ...
Demme plants a camera on the mic stand so at one point he can present Young's unshaven scowl in extreme close-up, blocking out the gorgeously lighted stage. It's not a pleasant image
It's OK. But seriously, how many Neil Young documentaries do we need?
A mournful documentary that combines footage of Young in concert in Toronto with a bittersweet trip to his childhood home in Omemee in southern Ontario.
Demme hasn't stopped seeking out new angles on this old warhorse, and even the odd speck of spittle on the lens cannot obscure the fact Young increasingly looks and sounds like one of the all-time greats.
Jonathan Demme makes his third concert film with Young, including shots practically right up his nostrils.
...too much material drawing from his mediocre Le Noise album and the interview segments where Young drives around Ontario telling stories from his youth are less than revelatory.
I've seen better concert videos and I've seen better music documentaries. This one is for diehard Neil Young fans.
...just Young and his insinuating voice (which I'm inclined to credit more now than I was 40 years ago), various guitars, harmonica and piano, over which he displays a great and tender command.
Fans of folk rock legend Neil Young who are willing to accept that the guy is well past his prime will respond to the downbeat tone of Jonathan Demme's concert film.
The director is putting Young in the audience's lap, allowing the viewer to examine all the creases and crevices of his grizzled face as well as capturing the emotion the singer pours into his songs.
These two world-renowned and individualistic artists from the worlds of music and film clearly bask in each other's company. We, the audience, would be fools to respond otherwise.
Long may he run, sure, but 'Neil Young Journeys' has the feeling of a farewell.
"Journeys" is about looking back - not in sorrow or wistfulness, but in affection and, often, impassioned remembrance of times past and how they still resonate in the present.
A mesmerizing and intimate visit with a performer who is identified most closely with rock 'n' roll, but whose artistic curiosity has taken him in myriad directions musically throughout his 40-plus-year career.
Neil Young Journeys does for some of us what a rare film can do - it revives and renews our spirit. Neil Young and Jonathan Demme. Heart and soul. Wisdom and age. Fire and ashes. Lightning and thunder.
For fans, Journeys is like that box set of uneven rarities that they simply must own. For casual friends, it's 90 minutes in good company. For the rest - ho-hum.
Audience Reviews for Neil Young Journeys
It took a while to warm to the newer material, (much of it from the 2010 album Le Noise), but Neil has still got it... as a recording songwriter. Live, Shakey is getting shakier, and this splicing of a Massey Hall concert with footage from a rambling drive down Highway 11 didn't really do the show any favours. Neither did Demme's heavy-handed, cheap-looking graphic supers about the four students killed in the Kent State riot (sung about in "Ohio"). I'd have liked to have been at the show, and in the end I did like the newer songs - particularly the spruced up 70s rocker, "Hitchhiker" - but this is late Neil, and this DVD is primarily for the collectors.More
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