Trailer for “Paradox”, artsy movie with Neil Young and Willie Nelson, by Daryl Hannah

 

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Neil Young is evidently a man on several different missions right now. As a working musician, he is in the throes of a fruitful relationship with Lukas Nelson and the Promise Of The Real. As an archivist, he is teasing out long-lost gems or potent live cuts from his capacious back catalogue. Meanwhile, his environmental activism, a recurring motif since the ’70s, has become more pronounced of late. A sci-fi novel, we learn, is also in the pipeline. Young’s latest project, meanwhile, is Paradox – a Netflix film directed by Daryl Hannah and also a soundtrack album – which goes some way towards uniting all these divergent strands of Young’s career. An eco-sci-fi-western, no less, it casts the musician and his young cohorts as cowboys prospecting for ‘old’ technology – a computer keyboard, an alarm clock, a mobile phone – which they trade every full moon with women in exchange for fresh fruit and vegetables. There are instances of levitation, bad cooking and a vintage steam train. Along the way, Willie Nelson cameos as ‘Red’, an outlaw who holds up the local Seed Bank with Young’s Man In The Black Hat. Naturally, there is also music. The film’s centrepiece is a 10-minute instrumental jam taken from “Cowgirl In The Sand”, filmed at Desert Trip, which helpfully reminds us that however divisive Young’s recent output is (Paradox included), the one thing all his fans can at the very least agree on is the awesome power of his live performances.

Paradox should come as no surprise to veteran Neil watchers. For more than four decades, Young has pursued an idiosyncratic sideline as a filmmaker, using the nom de cinema, Bernard Shakey. His directorial debut, 1974’s Journey Through The Past, was a combination of documentary and art-house experiment, and his subsequent productions have been similarly unorthodox affairs. 1982’s Human Highway, for instance, was a surreal, apocalyptic satire co-starring Devo, Russ Tamblyn and Dean Stockwell. With its semi-improvised vibe and wild, rambling plotline, Paradox definitely shares that Shakey Pictures spirit. Young’s manager, Elliot Roberts, is on hand as a grizzled old cowpoke, offering whacked-out wisdom: “Always take a look at the food you’re about to eat. It’s important to know what it is, but it’s critical to know what it was.” You’d imagine, were either man still alive, that this is the kind of role that would have perfectly suited someone like Hopper or Harry Dean Stanton.

Read more at http://www.uncut.co.uk/uncut-editors-diary/neil-youngs-paradox-film-soundtrack-album-review-103903#AoUIeHJETQqudzws.99

 

 

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