Reviews

Neil Young: Heart Of Gold

4

Oh baby, this one’s from the heart. Hunched over Hank Williams’ guitar and under a 10-gallon Stetson in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Neil Young is American myth made flesh in Jonathan Demme’s concert movie. There’s a stirring, survivalist rock story behind the occasion: the 2005 show followed Young’s surgery for a brain aneurysm and premiered his Prairie Wind album, recorded before the op. The event receives a suitably mammoth DVD-as-devotional package, too, with a walloping extras disc of eulogistic interviews sharing the stage with rehearsal diaries, an old live track and more. It’s the intimacy that resonates most, though. Young’s songs include touching meditations on children leaving home, ageing, God, 9/11. Demme shoots in close-up, cutting out the audience so as to cut straight to the all-star band and the heart of the songs. He calls it “a dream concert”. He’s right: when it ends, you feel like you’ve been transported.

 

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