Behind “Neil Young Trunk Show”: Director Demme on Capturing a Legend in New Film

September 16th, 2009 by Karen Bliss Leave a reply »

Photo: Larry Cragg

Neil Young Trunk Show, the second in Jonathan Demme’s planned film trilogy on the legendary rocker, is an unconscious, raw, in-the-moment concert movie that respects the immediacy of creativity and the creator. Partway through the follow-up to the 2006 doc Heart of Gold, Young launches into “No Hidden Path” and 20 blistering minutes later he ends. The “scene” draws you in as much as any high-speed car chase in an action thriller. “It’s gotta be the longest song ever in a movie. It’s gotta be,” says Demme, in a sit-down interview with Rolling Stone this week during the Toronto International Film Festival, where Trunk Show screened for free outdoors at Yonge-Dundas Square.

“I always tell people, absolutely and sincerely, if you’re not a Neil Young fan, don’t waste your time,” Demme adds. “Second of all, if you don’t love electric guitar, don’t go. Because of ‘No Hidden Path,’ you’ve got to be there for electric guitar. It’s got to speak to you in order to get what that’s all about.”

Demme, whose dramatic films includes the Academy Award-winning Philadelphia and Silence of the Lambs, recalls the time Trunk Show screened as a work-in-progress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain a year ago. He counted 40 walk-outs during “No Hidden Path.” “But then [this] song in a movie got a standing ovation from the 1,860 people that didn’t walk out,” he boasts.

Trunk Show is subtitled “scenes from a concert,” specifically from a pair of shows Young performed at the 1927-built Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, as part of his intimate Chrome Dreams II theater tour in 2007. Onstage, he performed a full acoustic set, followed by a full electric one ...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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