Using the music from his acclaimed "Greendale" album, Neil Young turned the themes from the record into this epic drama. The story is centered around the mythical town of Greendale, a formerly idyllic place rocked by the sudden shooting of a policeman. Fingers point at young Jed Green, forcing his family to rally around him after the media impinges on their lives. Songs from Young and his faithful band Crazy Horse proliferate throughout, making this an awesome aural and visual treat for any fans of the innovative rocker.
Cinematographer, occasional film director, and, yes, longtime rock star Neil Young personally made (under the silly pseudonym Bernard Shakey) the fascinating, strangely affecting, and feature-length experiment Greendale as an after-the-fact movie to accompany his CD of the same name. Shot with low-tech equipment, the grainy, overlit Greendale sets a dreamy, David Lynch-like mood as Young tells the story of the fictional Green family, who live in a Northern California town that bears their name. Multi-generational anti-war activists and pro-environmental warriors, the Greens become beleaguered in a world of intensifying media scrutiny, corporate arrogance, personal tragedy, and the devil himself (in the form of a dancing dude in a red suit), culminating in the family's disillusionment and renewed commitment. There's no dialogue: The lyrics of Young's song cycle speak for the characters, making Greendale a novel hybrid of music video and visionary movie. --Tom Keogh
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