Trunk Show captures Neil Young in all his ragged glory

Of all the rock legends still making the rounds, few have Neil Young’s vitality. Unlike, say, The Rolling Stones, there’s never a sense that Young’s latest album is just an excuse for another tour. His current output may not live up to the albums he produced in his prime, but there’s little doubt that Young is every bit as engaged now as he was 40 years ago.

The same is true of his live show, captured in Neil Young Trunk Show by director Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married, The Silence of the Lambs). No stranger to concert films, Demme set the gold standard with his Talking Heads movie, Stop Making Sense, and has already captured Young once before, in 2006’s Heart of Gold. That effort was a meticulous, micromanaged document of a performance tailored to the big screen; it was also a response to Young’s own brushes with mortality, which means it placed the singer in the role of the wise old man. On Trunk Show, both Demme and Young seem less interested in calculation, however well intentioned, and more interested in letting things go off the rails.

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