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Neil Young: Journeys

Directed by Jonathan Demme

USA, 2011

Cornerhouse, 26 December 2012

Neil Young

Another Demme documentary about Neil Young, this one a snapshot of the rock’n’roller circa 2011.

We first see him driving around his hometown, reminiscing about his childhood and the places no longer there.  Think on it, how memory alone preserves what is lost.

The latter part of the film is Neil Young performing some classic and recent songs at a concert in Massey Hall.  One recent song, ‘Love and War’ (2010), is right up there with his best and shows that he has not lost his touch, either as singer-songwriter or performer.

There are some tricksy, close-up shots which are problematic – I liked ‘em, personally, for me they brought out the punch in the music – but Demme is at his best when he plays it straight.  When he uses the camera as a window, in so far as that’s possible, to capture Neil Young’s power and presence onstage.

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