Jonathan Demme: Neil Young Trunk Show
Jonathan Demme talks Trunk
Reviewed by Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 27, 2009
Jonathan Demme: 'Neil Young Trunk Show'
Despite filming a couple of Hollywood remakes (The Truth About Charlie and The Manchurian Candidate) in the past, director Jonathan Demme has always resisted the lure of the easy sequel (he left it to others to continue the Hannibal Lecter brand). Neil Young, however, is another story entirely. Demme followed up his 2006 concert doc, Neil Young: Heart of Gold, with this new performance film, which made its world premiere at the Paramount Theatre on the closing day of South by Southwest. That auditorium proved the perfect screening room, as the venue replicates the ornate but well-worn vibe of the Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, Penn., where the concert was filmed. Asked during the Q&A how this new film compares with his previous Young movie, Demme replied that Trunk Show is a "reaction to Heart of Gold." Everything about the earlier film was carefully planned; "this one is unplanned." Demme then went on to tell an amusing story about being with Young at Farm Aid and learning that then-Sen. Barack Obama was visiting Willie Nelson's bus. Already a supporter of the politician, Demme managed to get the senator over to listen to Young's rehearsal and asked if he knew the song. Obama replied: "'Southern Man'? Give me a break."