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Neil Young - Heart of Gold
Neil Young - Heart of Gold
Actors: Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Pegi Young, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham
Director: Jonathan Demme
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
PG     2006     1hr 43min

Academy-award winning director Jonathan Demme beautifully captures Rock & Roll Hall of Fame legend, Neil Young as he prepares and presents the performance of a lifetime with the help of his wife Peggi and friends country s...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Pegi Young, Ben Keith, Spooner Oldham
Director: Jonathan Demme
Creators: Neil Young, Jonathan Demme, Elliot Rabinowitz, Gary Goetzman, Ilona Herzberg, Mia Lee, Paul Deason
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Pop, Rock & Roll, Young, Neil, Classic Rock, Documentary
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 06/13/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Collector's Edition,Special Edition
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

A Living Legend, Live
John C. Bergeron | Saint Paul, MN United States | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the summer of '05, Neil Young, having just survived a close call with a brain aneurysm, performed two concerts at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium. Documented here, the concerts premiered Young's most recent, and critically acclaimed release, Prairie Wind, followed by many classics from the gentler compartment of his massive, magnificent catalog. From the opening interview snippets to the final scene of Neil Young alone on stage, Jonathan Demme, as one would expect, has created a masterpiece, a film suitable to its subject. No two-second ADD camera work here, this wonderful film was shot with the same grace, intelligence and intimacy as the music Young and his friends--including Emmylou Harris!--perform. I saw this film four times while it was in town, and now I can't wait for the DVD release. Don't miss this (literally) glowing tribute to one of rock/blues/folk/country's genuine icons."
It's Only a Dream....
NJA | Tampa, FL | 04/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When I heard this was being done with Jonathon Demme, I knew it was going to be outstanding. Neil surrounds himself with Pegi, Spooner, Ben, Emmylou, and other old friends. He plays Hank Sr's guitar, which hasn't graced the stage of the Ryman since 1951. They run through most of the songs on Prairie Wind, and Neil gives very personal reasons for writing some of them...I'm not going to spoil that for anyone reading here. After that, they do some older material: I am a Child, Harvest Moon, Old Man, Needle & the Damage Done, Old King, 4 Strong Winds, and an incredible One of These Days. I probably missed a song or 2, and then...the lights go down, and it's just Neil on the stage, no crowd, no bandmates, playing The Old Laughing Lady thru the credits. Was the whole show just a dream of Neil's? Thank you Mr. Demme."
The Old Man Reaches Back and Looks Forward--Result: Pure Gol
Timothy P. Merritt | AMHERST MA USA | 04/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

Neil Young has always been a conumdrum; part genius, part guitar hack, part poet, part flack. He has played many roles;a Canadian-born singer songwriter, child of the late fifties, darling of the sixties and spokesman for the seventies. Then later, Reagan supporter in the eighties and grandfather to American grundge in the nineties. Now in the twilight of his career, Neil Young remains one of a handful of voices that can generate industry-wide attention just by releasing a new cd or heading out on tour. He has produced some of the most memorable and occassionally the most forgettable music in popular culture. So while it's no surprise that diehard fans continue to line up whenever the venerable rocker releases new material, many others check in sporadically to see what the old man is up to.
Well,diehards and estranged fans alike should be ecstatic. And they should check out Young and a cast of nearly forty as Jonathan Demme's Heart of Gold captures the singer-songwriter in at one of the most pleasing sonic moments of his four decade career.

This is Young at his best, backed by a host of top level players including Ben Keith, Tim Drummond, and Spooner Oldham, among others. These are all veteran musicians that Young has collaborated with several times over the years, most notably during his Harvest session and during his occasional reprises to that genre which produced Harvest Moon, Silver and Gold, and the recent Prarie Wind. Here under the watchful but never intrusive eye of award winning filmmaking Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lamb, Philadelphia, Stop Makin Sense)Young plays the part of a gracious host, welcoming his compadres and his audience alike to bask in the glow of nearly thirty songs from his prodigious catalog. The setting is appropriate-- Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, once the heart of country music and still one of its most nutritious arteries. As celestial light shines through the stained-glass windows of the sacred hall, Young and his castmates glide through almost the entirety of his recent release Prairie Wind, along with acoustic gems such as Old Man, I Am A Child, Harvest Moon, Four Strong Winds, Comes A Time, and of course the title track Heart of Gold.

Young has never sounded so good or so relaxed. He should be so satisfied.

With the recording of this series of concerts coming so soon after his subject had recovered from surgery to repair an aneurysm,Jonathan Demme has captured the artist at his most reflective. Youngs songs stand as testimonials to his family, his friends, and perhaps even his fans, many of whom have entered into middle age along with the singer. The sound is incredible --largely acoustic and there is so much of it. The voices soar toward to the heavens but thank God Demme was able to capture the waves before they sailed out into the Nashville night and onto the prairies.
Young has never cottoned to categories or to cliches. His reunions with country music have always been his most commercially successful, which for Young often meant they were shortlived, the better to move away from quickly lest he be bored or repeat himself.
Still, Heart of Gold records for all history or at least for anyone that calls themself a Neil Young fan that sometime during the last half of the twentieth century and early into the next one, there was a singer-songwriter who loved Hank Williams, loved his family, and loved to play sweet,haunting, celebrations and salutations of life and love. His name was Neil Young and he did it right.
A man and his "Craft"
Graeme J. W. Smith | Newport, RI United States | 05/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"because that is what this is - some top notch musicians who have played together for years - practising their craft. The old timers just stand and play, no histrionics, not leaping around the stage - they just play - and they play WELL. Everyone looks so relaxed that at times it appears they are almost not doing anything - but the sound is superb and the band so tight it sounds like this came out the studio.

It is a meausure of how well everyone plays together that Emmylou Harris - no mean performer herself - can be seen watching Neil's chords like a hawk while she duo's (extremely successfully) on her guitar alongside. The rest of the guys - they don't need to look - they just play. Watch for the pan down a line of 6 guitars in a row as all the fingers move together through the chord sequences and the occassional gently angled shot to give a laid back, guitar to the fore look.

Think of this concert as a sort of "MTV Unplugged" (but plugged in) piece in terms of people sitting down and just playing together. Only WAY better.

Sharp hats Neil.....

It's on my wishlist for release day."