Have been listening to Neil Young’s sonic novella “Greendale” for months – a somewhat disjointed portrait of three generations living in a small town, ultimately focused on granddaughter Sun Green, who awakens to her enviro self, takes over the lobby of Powerco, welds herself to the beak of a bronze eagle and becomes a media spectacle through the oracle of her megaphone (“Hey Mr. Clean, you’re dirty now too”).
Later realized that Young had made a movie out of Greendale — the whole thing shot on a Super 8 underwater camera (“That Super 8 grain looks like my music sounds“); the footage is grainy, never quite in focus, and seems to oscillate between 12 and 20 frames per second. The music is huge, deeply rocking. The stories are completely honest and uncomplicated — no symbolism at all. If a song mentions a rooster, Neil shows you a rooster. The characters speak every word of the songs. In anyone else’s hands, this kind of literalism would be corny, but Greendale is totally truthful, like almost everything Neil Young has ever made.