‘Neil Young Journeys’ comes to Atlanta

The third installment of Jonathan Demme’s triptych finds the man from Omemee still ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’


Neil Young Journeys, director Jonathan Demme’s third pairing with the righteous and famously grouchy Canadian songwriting icon, is ostensibly a concert film. Fleeting moments of Young cruising around his childhood hometown, Omemee, Ontario, in a 1956 Crown Vic en route to Toronto’s Massey Hall elevate the film to documentary status — but just barely. Shot during the last two nights of Young’s 2011 solo world tour, the performance itself drives the film as storied songs such as “Down By the River,” “Ohio,” and “Hey Hey, My My” help form a coda to Demme’s Neil Young trilogy, which includes Heart of Gold (2006) and Trunk Show (2009).

Demme’s obsessions with the man and his songs culminate with this trek to where the story began. But when Young unveils a few new numbers throughout the show, including the tinkling piano-driven “Leia” and “You Never Call Me,” there’s an undeniable sense that no matter how exhausted he appears to be by the end of the performance, the journey isn’t over.

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Neil Young Journeys opens tonight (Fri., July 27) at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Dr. 404-879-0160.