Release Date: February 10th, 2006 by Paramount Classics.
Directed by Jonathan Demme.
BASIC PREMISE: A concert film of Neil Young’s “Prarie Wind” concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium on August 2005.
Director Jonathan Demme wastes no time briefly interviewing some of the members of Neil Young’s band as they travel to the concert hall. Once Neil Young comes onstage, that’s when the real magic begins. Through most of this documentary, you feel as if you’re actually at the concert watching him sing. A few brief close-ups take that feeling away, but replace it with plenty warmth as Young plucks his guitar with lots of emotion. What will really please his fans is that the sound mix is amazing along with the crisp images—it looks like he’s right there in front of you. Like in the concert film Standing in the Shadows of Motown , it’s very tempting to clap along with the audience after each exciting song number. In addition, Neil Young: Heart of Gold feels refreshing because it’s never full of itself—there aren’t any interviews with fans after the show. Therefore, Demme lets the performances speak for themselves so that you can just sit back and immerse your eyes and ears into the wonderful music. Be sure to stay through the end credits for an oddly voyeuristic—and the most personal one—where Young slowly puts away his guitar into its case in front of an empty auditorium. You wouldn’t get to see that part even if you were at the concert.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Neil Young’s fans will be happy from start to finish hearing every heartfelt song.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A beautifully-shot, deeply emotional concert film! A must-see for any fan of Neil Young!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
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