Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review: CSNY Deja Vu

It's Deja Vu All Over Again!

Let's cut to the chase here. This movie will only play one more day in the Bay Area, and after that, you'll have to wait for the DVD. Martha and I went to see it tonight at the quirky Bridge Theater, with less than 10 people in the audience. So, you kind of already know if you like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and you probably already know if you are a fan of Young's savage/raw style of guitar. Tomorrow (Thursday July 31) is your last chance to experience it in a movie house. So...GO!

Now, back to the 2-bit review
This is not a concert film. It does document the 2006 CSNY Freedom of Speech tour, but there is lots of archival footage of older concerts and older wars. The premise is that Neil Young got journalist Mike Cerre to be an 'embed' journalist on the tour, and report positive and negative responses with unblinking honesty. Mike has already put in multiple tours as an embedded journalist in Iraq for ABC News, and there is a surreal touch of constant screen shots of the LWW Network, in CNN drag, running crawls across the bottom of the screen of war casualties, just like the stock quotes you see on TV.

The movie is quite emotional, and there is much tension as the tour heads towards the South. In Atlanta, it all boils over when the band starts singing "Let's Impeach The President." A significant number of the audience boos, and flips the band off. The embed reporter interviews many of these people as they are leaving, and it's pretty brutal. Definitely not PG.

There's any number of extremely emotional moments. Archival footage of Young singing "Ohio" was pretty intense for me. I loved hearing some of "Wooden Ships," a song I still dream of playing in church one day, and "For What It's Worth" sounds timeless, even though the song was originally written about the teenybopper riots on Sunset Strip.

The movie features a lot of war footage, and focuses on many veterans and their families. Like I said, this is far from a standard concert film. But I don't think anyone should be all that surprised. I wonder about those angry fans in Atlanta too; did they never listen to the lyrics back in the day? How can anyone be surprised that they would be against the war in Iraq?

BettiI would like to take this opportunity to thank our friend Betti Caramucci for reminding me that the movie was in town, and also that it would be closing after only one week. I don't think Betti is a CSNY fan, and probably just heard it was an anti-war movie. Bless her heart!


vizetelly said...

thanks for the tip, Geoff

Pop Argot said...

Great post, Geoff; and it inspired me to do a blog post on Young/CSNY myself.