Continuing on with our coverage of the free screenings during the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival 2009, we present you the schedule for the free screenings taking place at Yonge-Dundas Square for Monday September 14 2009. Although there are many premieres and film events happening as well on the same day, there’s nothing better than to be surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city while taking in a visual masterpiece in the heart of Toronto…
september 14 2009
“David Byrne walks onto the stage and does a solo ‘Psycho Killer.’ Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz join him for two more songs. The crew is busy, still setting up. Then, three more musicians and two back-up singers join the band. Everybody sings, plays, harmonizes, dances, and runs. They change instruments and clothes. Bryne appears in the Big Suit. The backdrop is often black, but sometimes it displays words, images, or children’s drawings. The band cooks for 18 songs, the lyrics are clear, the house rocks. In this concert film, the Talking Heads hardly talk, don’t stop, and always make sense.”
“A young baseball pitcher in the bush leagues is discovered by a big-league manager and given his chance in the major leagues. But will he be up to the challenge?”
“TIFF In Concert Film Series: The Neil Young Trunk Show with host, director Jonathan Demme.
The words Trunk Show conjure visions of unique and precious goods, displayed from old chunky leather-strapped luggage. The images recall a time of purposeful travel, when people moved across the country with deliberate speed. Neil Young’s Trunk show uses the traveling exhibit concept to bring to life his collection of rare song gems (“Mexico,” “Kansas” and the “The Sultan”), crowd favorites (“Cinammon Girl,” “Cowgirl in the Sand” and “Like a Hurricane”) and more recent material (“No Hidden Path” and “The Believer”). It is a collection for the ages.
Young surrounds himself with his favorite instruments, played at whim, and a stage set filled with personal icons: a small-scale model of a guitar shop, a red phone and other items. The feeling on the stage is of a favorite place where Neil Young is able to create his music exactly as he wants, supported by long-time touring band friends Ben Keith, Rick Rosas, Ralph Molina, Anthony “Sweetpea” Crawford and wife Pegi Young.
The spontaneous and raw film was shot during two shows at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania during the Chrome Dreams II tour. Director Jonathan Demme described it as “a reaction to ‘Heart of Gold,’” his previous film featuring Neil Young. That performance, done at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, was catefully staged for the camera, whereas Neil Young Trunk Show is caught on the fly. The viewer is taken into the live experience from all angles, including candid backstage moments with crew and complete set-up, from the wires to the rigging. “We didn’t plan anything,” said Demme. “This was the easiest film in the world to make.”
The Academy Award-winning director (“Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia”), brought his veteran crew to shoot the two concerts with mostly hand-held cameras in HDCam, HDV and Super-8mm formats. The team included Director of Photography Declan Quinn (“Rachel Getting Married,” “28 Days,” “Leaving Las Vegas”) and a team of camera operators from Demme’s feature films and documentaries. “We made a home movie in a way,” noted Demme.
Demme and editor Glenn Allen drew on the director’s longstanding relationship with Neil Young to provide viewers with an intimate portrait of the artist. The film uses long takes as an antithesis to the current fashion of quick-cutting, giving the music full reign over production techniques. The two nights allowed Young and his band to pull a wide-variety of songs, from the artist’s very early days right up to the present. The result is a lingering and emotional gaze at the interior character of Young, unpacked piece by piece from a lifetime of carefully-crafted music.
Neil Young Trunk Show: Scenes from a Concert is a Shakey Pictures / Clinica Estetico Production; produced by Bernard Shakey, Elliot Rabinowitz and Jonathan Demme;Executive Producer L. A. Johnson, recorded in 5.1 surround sound by Tim Mulligan; original stage lighting by Peggy Eisenhauer.
Neil Young – Vocals/ Guitar / Piano / Harmonica
Ralph Molina – Drums / Vocals
Ben Keith – Pedal Steel / Dobro / Guitar / Organ / Vocals
Rick Rosas – Bass / Vocals
Pegi Young – Vocals, Vibes, Guitar
Anthony Crawford – Vocals, Piano, Guitar, Mandolin
Eric Johnson as “The Painter”
And Cary Kemp as “The Sultan”