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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jonathan Demme Interview on Neil Young Trunk Show Film



Jonathan Demme interview on Neil Young Trunk Show film at Toronto Film Festival in September, 2009.

From Variety - Demme digs Neil Young concert pics :
"We don’t have an illusion that this is something that can move into a movie theater and play for weeks," Demme says, acknowledging the tough times facing docus. "I’m hoping we’ll have some great moment in theaters, but I know full well this is a cable and DVD play." Demme is already prepping the DVD, which will include eight songs not seen in the 82-minute theatrical version.

Additionally, Demme is thinking about another film with Young to complete the trilogy: "I just feel that the physics lead to a third movie." he says.

From an interview with Director Jonathan Demme on Spinner by Liisa Ladouceur:
"The film was shot over two nights in 2007 at the Tower Theater in Pennsylvania during Young's 'Chrome Dreams II' tour. It eschews the chronology of the concerts' set lists, instead jumping around between electric and acoustic numbers both familiar ('Cowgirl in the Sand,' 'Cinnamon Girl') and rare ('Ambulance Blues, 'Mexico') and what passes for costume changes at a Young show (jacket goes on, jacket comes off). The focus is on the interactions between Young and his band, and Demme admits there was 'minimal' pre-planning before the shoot. 'I just tried to respond spontaneously to the music,' he says.

One impromptu moment captured in the film is when Young appears to forget the words to his hit 'Like a Hurricane.' Demme responded by putting the lyrics up onscreen, karaoke style. 'The whole point of that song is that the person telling the story gets lost in a hurricane,' Demme explains, laughing. 'So when Neil is wandering around the stage, forgetting to sing into the microphone, it was like he got lost, too. I thought it was perfect. And Neil liked it; he asked me to keep it in.'

Demme admits he's a 'Neil Young groupie' and says he's already planning a third film with the singer, although no details are forthcoming. And while he says 'nothing can ever compete with live music,' he still finds concert filmmaking exciting.

'We can present a more intimate view of what's going on on the stage.' he says. 'We can pull the audience out of their seat and put them inside the music. Because it's the music that's the message. It's what takes us on the journey.'"


A terrific interview with Demme on MSN by Seán Francis Condon:
"Seán Francis Condon: Is 'Trunk Show' the most elaborate sound mix you've done?

Demme: No. In fact, when we did 'Heart of Gold' - when I've done any of these performance films, whoever's doing them - you cut to the board mix. But then you go on to a movie mixing stage, and you break all the tracks down and you make a brand new mix that in theory is going to be the best sound tapestry and make sure you get everything right. We did 'Heart of Gold' that way, and Neil was at the controls. But here, the more we cut to the board mix, the more I thought it would be insane and kind of against the whole vibe of this show and the film to break that up. This sounds live to me! So, we really stuck with the board mix. Ninety-five percent of what we hear now is what the people in the room heard those nights. There are a couple of places where just one of the levers wasn't up enough and we couldn't hear something. Here and there. This is essentially like a bootleg soundtrack."

From Guardian.co.uk:
DEMME: "When I see him galumphing across the stage in the middle of No Hidden Path, so deep in a trance-state, making sounds that I've never heard and I find so thrilling … it's like if Tchaikovsky had been a guitar player. I just think in terms of the word master coming into my head. Look at this grizzled master just burning this stuff down."


Also, see Trailer for Neil Young Trunk Show Movie.

More on the Trunk Show concerts in Philadelphia.

jonathan-demme.jpg torontofilmfestgrin090603-crop.jpg
Jonathan Demme and Neil Young


More on Jonathan Demme and Neil Young:

- Young and Demme Discuss Trunk Show Movie

- Unscripted Interview: Demme & Young

- Director Jonathan Demme on "Prairie Wind"/Heart of Gold film

- "Heart of Gold" Premieres at Sundance Film Festival

- The Complex Sessions: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Directed by Jonathan Demme

trunk-show-strings.jpg
Photo by Larry Cragg


UPDATE: Neil Young News: Trunk Show Film Screening Dates


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11 Comments:

At 2/23/2010 11:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eight songs will be on the DVD release that are not in the theatrical release!
EIGHT!...EIGHT!....8!

The missing EIGHT!

Anybody wanna guess?

 
At 2/23/2010 11:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check Sugar Mountain lists, that'll get you the answer.

 
At 2/23/2010 11:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I'm too OLD to go back to Sugar Mountain!
:>)

I'm checkin' it out! Thanks!

 
At 2/23/2010 11:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been on Sugar Mountain 20 years
(actually 35+, but who's counting)

 
At 2/23/2010 11:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear ya!

Forever young! (hmm..that's got a double meaning.)

 
At 2/23/2010 02:59:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

I love that bit in Demme's interview where he tells of having to hold up the lines to "Hurricane" because Neil forgot the lines...then...in classic Neil style..he insists that Demme leaves the footage in!...

Could you imagine if Neil was a contestant on "American Idol"...Ol'' Simon would tear shreds off him!! lol

doc

p.s. Anonymous?...35+ years on suger mountain hey?...YOU CAN"T BE 20 ON SUGAR MOUNTAIN!!!..Time to leave lol

 
At 2/23/2010 07:44:00 PM, Anonymous Carson said...

I am praying that one of the eight bonus songs is "Try". This song deserves to be immortalized.

 
At 2/23/2010 07:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Doc - you're leaving there too soon!

 
At 2/24/2010 08:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good interview. I can't say I like like like the interview host though. Sounds like like like my teenage daughter a lot lot lot.

 
At 2/24/2010 09:00:00 AM, Blogger Harm said...

Only 82 minutes... the show we got in Amsterdam, Feb. 2009 was about 150... that means quite a few songs are being cut... add to that backstage footage and one wonders how much of a concert feeling will be left. Then again, the Last Waltz lasted over 4.5 hours in real life as well, but the movie still doesn't feel like its missing much. I do wonder how they are going to include those 8 songs... bonus stuff, like on HOG or splice em in properly?

 
At 2/26/2010 05:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little late but the movie is being played in Pleasantville NY tonight with Q+A with Demme

 

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