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neumu
Saturday, November 22, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  Greendale cinematronic
  director

Neil Young

cast

Eric Johnson, Ben Keith, Sarah White, Erik Markegard, Elizabeth Keith, James Mazzeo, Neil Young

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  Homespun vitality salvages "Greendale," rocker Neil Young's second foray into making a feature film that's more of a narrative than a straight-up concert documentary. Written and directed by Young under the wry pseudonym Bernard Shakey, "Greendale" offers fans an album's worth of music from the auteur and his backup group Crazy Horse. The difference is that the soundtrack tunes, shambling affairs primarily sung by Young and lip-synced by the actors, make up a folk-rock song cycle in the service of a latter-day "Our Town." Young's script means to shine a light on the lives of citizens in a small California community. Most of the screen time is spent on members of the Green family, including curmudgeonly Grandpa (Ben Keith), his artsy son, Earl, and Earl's vivacious activist daughter, Sun (Sarah White). All is relatively mellow until Cousin Jed (Eric Johnson), dogged by a slick, red-suited figure representing the Devil, gets himself in a heap o' serious trouble. The naïve tone, the neo-hippie, anti-authoritarian, eco-conscious spirit and the shaky, blown-up Super 8 video look of "Greendale" might be perceived as willful modern primitivism. Like Young's 1982 effort "Human Highway," it's crude, amateurish and drags at times, but it has an earnest, untutored appeal that can carry along the acquiescent.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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