Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Sarah White, Eric Johnson, Ben Keith, Erik Markegard, Elizabeth Keith
Director: Neil Young
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Cinematographer, occasional film director, and, yes, longtime rock star Neil Young personally made (under the silly pseudonym Bernard Shakey) the fascinating, strangely affecting, and feature-length experiment Greendale as... more »
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AS I was saying, characters from Pynchon....
o dubhthaigh | north rustico, pei, canada | 05/10/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Young and Crazy Horse are basically characters from Pynchon (LOT 49, VINELAND) come to life, often with results that seem equally absurd, poignant, heartfelt, goofey, amateurish, honest. And all of that is on display in this film, particularly Young's anti-Spielberg aesthetics, which is cause enough for celebration. That mix of burn-out eco-hippie-polemics has served Young and the Horse well. One need only look at footage of some of their arguments in Year of the Horse, Live in Berlin, to realize just how comical they are when they are seriously pissed at each other.
This film, however, has a point, and is embraced by what is one of Young's best collections of songs in a very long while. Characteristically, it is as unprofessionally "acted" and shot as you can get, and therein lies its charm. The "actors" are basically road and musician colleagues assembled by Young to mouth the words of his songs, intercut with montage pieces reflecting the spirit or message of a song. It is the same approach he used with his classic JOURNEY THROUGH THE PAST film from the seventies (Hey, Neil, where's the DVD of that or even the soundtrack?).
I'm likely the only one who has ever seen JOURNEY 11 times, and I don't suspect that I'll attempt that with this film, but amid his goofiness as a filmmaker, Neil has quite a lot to say about the state of mind of the US, at least as seen through the prism of this one family. In doing so, he addresses greed, karma, the environment, and the nature of one's nationality set against this backdrop of violence that is all American Eagle, and none of the compassion of Liberty. Although others may state the theme more eloquently, Young gets across in so unaffected a manner that the silliness of the movie is its own metaphor for how we clutter what is essential with the temporal and effete.
Back in JOURNEY, Young had David Crosby articulate an observation that is as chillingly accurate today as it was at the end of the Nixon era. I do not doubt that 30 years on, someone will come across this odd film and laugh at first, and then think about what the comedian just said.
Young is a lot like the hero in VINELAND. Re-read Pynchon, listen to Neil: they paint an accurate picture of life under gravity's rainbow."
Despite the shortcomings, the movie works
Steve Feldman | New York | 07/30/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Overall, the movie is a mess with grainy film quality, bad acting, no dialogue, out of focus images, washed out images, cheesy visual effects, lip synching that doesn't always line up and sometimes appears silly, and no real revelations provided to the underlying story. BUT, and that is a big but, it all works together to present a quirky little movie that is watchable. The sound is tremendous though and makes up for some of the negatives. Despite all the shortcomings, you do get drawn into this little town of Greendale and the strange characters that live there.
The added features are nice - a great live stage version of "Be The Rain" really kicks and shows the power of the live show and how well Neil has combined the live show with the movie or vice versa. The Making of Greendale (about 25 minutes) segment is good and surprisingly clear and in focus as opposed to the movie. It does show that Neil and his team have some skills in making movies. Lyrics, Family Tree, and character bios are also included.
Still Speaks His Mind
Norm | Montana USA | 02/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It took a few listenings a while back, but Greendale the CD has worn its way into my top 3 favorite albums by Neil Young. I bought Greendale the DVD more as a curiosity knowing, at worst, I don't mind having video to go with the music.
Greendale starts as a disarmingly-simple introduction to the Green family and ends with 2 powerful, wake-up-call anthems. The actors, who sync the lyrics, make it all interesting and watchable. The journey takes on a surreal quality in fairly short time. Statements about corruption in the White House, corporate greed and our responsibility to the environment are even stronger in the film than they are on the cd. It amazes me that time hasn't worn the edge off Neil Young to speak his mind. This is a day and age when we're supposed to be afraid.
I had a great time watching this dvd. I can't compare it to anything I've seen. Ideally a person might know the music before watching the film; and also just appreciate film as an art. The 5.1 sound is great.
Robert J. Battaglia | Alpharetta, Ga. | 03/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Neil Young is an incredibley enigmatic atrist. I can watch this DVD over and over because although the movie is really good, the music is absolutley astounding. I would say for those who have never heard of neil to have an open mind while viewing and you'll encounter a zone of reality that may have never occured to you before. The CD by the same title comes with an accompaning DVD wich neil does a solo accoustic set."