Neil Young - Heart of Gold

Neil Young - Heart of Gold

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Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Jonathan Demme, Neil Young, Emmylou Harris, Ben Keith

     
 

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In the fall of 2005, Neil Young returned to the sound and style of his iconic 1972 album Harvest with Prairie Wind, a set of ten songs which look to America's past and future accompanied by sweet but rough-hewn country-rock. The album was written and recorded after Young was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and shortly before he went into the hospital

Overview

In the fall of 2005, Neil Young returned to the sound and style of his iconic 1972 album Harvest with Prairie Wind, a set of ten songs which look to America's past and future accompanied by sweet but rough-hewn country-rock. The album was written and recorded after Young was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and shortly before he went into the hospital for surgery for the condition, Young played a pair of special concerts at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, where he performed the Prairie Wind album in full along with a set of old favorites. Filmmaker Jonathan Demme was on hand to film the shows, and Neil Young: Heart of Gold was culled from the best moments of those two concerts, as well as interviews in which Young talks about his life and music. Emmylou Harris appears as a guest vocalist, and Young's band includes long time accompanists Ben Keith on pedal steel, pianist Spooner Oldham and Pegi Young (Neil's wife) on acoustic guitar and backing vocals. By the way, Neil Young enjoyed a full recovery after his surgery.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
In this exquisite concert film directed by Jonathan Demme, Neil Young expresses modest hopes for his two-night stint at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, the home of the original Grand Ole Opry. He states he wants to "play well, share the stage with my friends, and let the muse have us." He succeeds magnificently, as does Demme, who keeps the music and performers center stage, without intrusive crowd reaction shots, flashy camerawork, or jarring cuts to distract or detract. The flip side of Young's ferocious Rust Never Sleeps, Heart of Gold finds Young in a more thoughtful and reflective mood, performing his Grammy-nominated acoustic album, Prairie Wind. Young had written and recorded the album in the wake of his father's death and his own diagnosis with a brain aneurysm. The music recalls his 1972 classic Harvest, with songs about his father, his daughter, his god, and even, in a duet with the incomparable Emmylou Harris, his guitar; which, he informs us, once belonged to Hank Williams and is making its own homecoming to Ryman. The forever-Young standards "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man" are even more poignant in this context, and you'll experience few lovelier moments onscreen than Young's rendition of "Four Strong Winds," a ballad by fellow Canadian Ian Tyson, to whom Young pays heartfelt tribute. A vivid portrait of the artist as an older man, Heart of Gold achieves greatness and merits a place in the concert film pantheon, alongside Demme's Talking Heads film, Stop Making Sense, and Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz.
Entertainment Weekly - Owen Gleiberman
Young, wizened yet valiant, his voice still braying at the moon, delivers these songs of aging and loss as if caught in a beautiful dream of what lies waiting for him on the other side.
New York Times
At one point, during one of his occasional verbal rambles, Young says half-jokingly, half-defensively that he's got some love songs left in him. This film, which is at once a valentine from one artist to another and a valentine from a musician to his audience, is surely proof that he does. Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times - Kenneth Turan
It's the record of a life, a musical and spiritual autobiography, and as directed by Jonathan Demme it taps into the kind of unashamed, unsentimental emotion that's become increasingly rare in films of any kind.
The Onion A.V. Club
It's hard to film icons like Young as anything BUT icons, but Demme's film gets past the legend, zooming in on Young's aged, heroic face and finding an artist as human as the rest of us. Keith Phipps

Product Details

Release Date:
06/13/2006
UPC:
0097363466949
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:43:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Bonus song: "He Was the King"; Rehearsal Diaries - narrated by director Jonathan Demme; 6 in-depth featurettes: Fellow Travelers, Cruising with Neil, These old guitars, Cruising with the players, Finishing touches, Warming up with Neil and the Jubilee Singers; Plus a truly historic blast from the past; Neil Young's performance on the 1971 Johnny Cash Show

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Neil Young Actor
Emmylou Harris Participant
Ben Keith Participant
Spooner Oldham Participant
Rick Rosas Participant
Karl Himmel Participant
Chad Cromwell Participant
Wayne Jackson Participant
Pegi Young Participant
Grant Boatwright Participant
Diana Dewitt Participant
Gary W. Pigg Participant
Anthony Crawford Participant
Tom McGinley Participant
Jimmy Sharp Participant
Clinton Gregory Participant
Larry Cragg Participant
Fisk University Jubilee Singers Participant
Nashville String Machine Participant
Carl Gorodetsky Actor

Technical Credits
Jonathan Demme Director,Producer
Paul Deason Co-producer
Gary Goetzman Executive Producer
Anthony Hemingway Asst. Director
Ilona Herzberg Producer
Andy Keir Editor
Ellen Kuras Cinematographer
Mia Lee Associate Producer
Manuel Costumes/Costume Designer
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Elliot Rabinowitz Executive Producer
Bernard Shakey Executive Producer
Ian Tyson Score Composer
Neil Young Songwriter
Michael Zansky Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Neil Young: Heart of Gold
1. The Road to the Ryman [:21]
2. The Painter [:09]
3. No Wonder [:06]
4. Falling Out of the Face of the Earth [8:00]
5. Far From Home [:40]
6. It's a Dream [4:39]
7. Prairie Wind [3:18]
8. Here For You [2:35]
9. This Old Guitar [3:38]
10. When God Made Me [2:00]
11. I Am a Child [2:51]
12. Harvest Moon [7:22]
13. Heart of Gold [7:29]
14. Old Man [1:17]
15. Needle and the Damage Done [5:33]
16. Old King [5:54]
17. Comes a Time [3:47]
18. Four Strong Winds [2:54]
19. One of These Days [1:48]
20. The Old Laughing Lady (End Titles) [3:16]

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Neil Young - Heart of Gold 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As most great artists, Neil Young doesn't seem to shine until he's really depressed or really "ticked-off" about something. The show was "jerky-filming" but an awesome performance of a man I have felt is a genius for at least 40 years. His songs were spiritual and heartfelt. I remember Neil's interaction with his Dad on "Saturday Night Live" and I could feel his pain in his music. He even sang about loss of his "Ole Dog King". He acknowlegded his Creator and praised his daughter. I know of the work he has done with the Lional Train company on behalf of his mentally challenged son and the wonderful work he has done for Farm Aid. His wife sang back up and they showed what true love can endure. Don't we all wish we could come to peace? I laughed and cried and sang my lungs out. Emmylou Harris was great. It was great to see some of the unique sound qualities that Neil added (i.e. broom & astroturf). In college I studied classic music from unique sounds with #2 erasers used on piano strings. His love for Canada also shown through brightly. Don't we all long for Home! Go there with this DVD!