Journey Through The Past

1972, Movie, R, 79 mins

Review

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Shot in 16mm and blown up to 35 for theatrical distribution, Canadian-born musician Neil Young's first feature film cost some $350,000 and remains a sought-after artifact more than 30 years after its initial release. This documentary-fantasy hybrid combines footage of Young from 1966, when he was with Buffalo Springfield, to 1972 and visual non sequiturs like black-robed horsemen on a beach, a "grey-faced dude" doing card tricks and the dazed every-youth who starts out in a newly minted college graduate's cap and gown and ends up shooting drugs by the sea. Interesting primarily as a time capsule, it included performances by Stephen Stills, Richie Furay, Dewey Martin, David Crosby and Graham Nash, and footage of Young living the life of a reluctant pop star. He grins his way through an uncomfortable radio-station appearance where the DJ mistakenly plays a Stills-era Buffalo Springfield song, signs an autograph for a motomouthed teenager ("I already got Ringo's and everybody else's"), talks about his early drug experiences, takes a drive with his girlfriend, actress Carrie Snodgrass and philosophizes in a junkyard. leave a comment

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Journey Through The Past
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