Jonathan Demme’s third
documentary portrait of Neil Young finds the singer driving the filmmaker
around his former Ontario playgrounds, pointing out abandoned mineshafts and
the spot where the younger Young once offed a turtle. They’re headed for
Toronto’s Massey Hall, site of Young’s summer 2011 homecoming gig. Attaching
his camera to the mic stand for a couple of numbers, Demme hasn’t stopped
seeking out new angles on this old warhorse, and even the odd speck of spittle
on the lens cannot obscure the fact Young increasingly looks and sounds like
one of the all-time greats. This particular set proves less revelatory than
2006’s comprehensive retrospective Heart
of Gold, but Demme brings such perennials as “Ohio” to renewed, rumbling
life by having them recorded in double-the-standard 96khz sound – the one
technical advancement in this week’s releases that pays off unconditionally.
These songs absolutely resonate. Neil Young: Journeys opens in selected cinemas from today.