Neil Young Neil Young: Heart Of Gold

With his current return to the rock’n’politics realm on Living With War, last year’s countrified Prairie Wind and this visual companion already have secured a venerated position among other milestones in Young’s storied career. There’s good reason also, largely due to director Jonathan Demme’s ability to get to the core of Young’s reflections on his autumn years in a way that Young didn’t always successfully convey on album. From the moment the curtain parts at the hallowed Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and Young and his nattily dressed band, consisting of family and long-time friends, begin running through Prairie Wind in its entirety, there is a sense of embarking on a journey through the past (to borrow a phrase from Young’s first film venture). Just as Jim Jarmusch was the right director to capture Young’s grungy side in 1997’s Year Of The Horse, Demme’s long, graceful camerawork and overall golden-hued scenery are perfectly matched with the elegiac performances. And coupled with Young’s honest between-song storytelling, the combination creates an intimacy rarely achieved in concert films. Fans of Young’s rootsy side will devour the second half’s overview of hits from Harvest and Comes A Time but the bonus disc of special features will appeal to Young fans of all stripes. Aside from revealing interviews with all the players, there is extensive rehearsal footage that gives unprecedented access to Young’s creative process. Topping it off is a 1971 clip of "Needle & The Damage Done” from The Johnny Cash Show, making Heart Of Gold a must-have for any collector. (Paramount)