Jonathan Demme Gets His Emotion On With 'Neil Young Journeys'

Even a man needs a hanky for his take on 'Ohio'

But make no mistake: Watching and hearing him play is the main attraction.

"That bottom bass . . ." says Demme, still shaking his head at the unforgettable sound. "I knew it would be wonderful if we could capture that for moviegoers."

The fact that all the layers of sound are coming from one man's fingers and achingly soulful voice is amazing to behold, at least "once you realize it's not a mistake," as Demme says with a snicker.

Demme: Damn great
Declan Quinn
Demme: Damn great

Details

Neil Young Journeys was directed by Jonathan Demme; and stars Neil Young. Rated PG. Opens Fri. at Edwards University Town Center 6, Irvine. Click here for show times.

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The music accentuates poems Young sings about love, loss, and slights made now and then. Demme comes up with neat tricks to capture the sound and performance fury, including what can best be described as a chin-and-throat cam.

Asked what first attracted him to the musician, Demme paused before answering.

"Neil Young's music and songs have spoken to what it is like to be a white male from his generation over the years," he finally says. "What it is like to be his age—he speaks for that. His music is almost like a mirror turned inward.

"I think he's a genius. You have to look globally at the club he is in when it comes to what he has contributed to the world. I cherish our friendship."

 

This article appeared in print as "'Ohio' Calling: Jonathan Demme and Neil Young revisit tragedy movingly in Neil Young Journeys."

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