L.A.’s Cinefamily theater is hosting a five-day festival surveying the films of Neil Young, assembled in conjunction with a new album he’s releasing June 30.
"Shakey Fest: The Films of Neil Young" encompasses nine films, including his latest cinematic work, “The Monsanto Years.” Most of the movies were directed by Young using his nom de silver screen, Bernard Shakey, but also include Jonathan Demme’s 2009 concert film “Neil Young Trunk Show” and Hal Ashby’s rarely exhibited 1983 concert film “Solo Trans.”
A newly restored director’s cut of “Human Highway” opens the festival Thursday and will be shown at the Vista Theatre in Hollywood. Other films will be shown at the Cinefamily’s theater, formerly the Silent Movie Theatre, on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. “Human Highway” was co-directed in 1982 by Young and actor-directly Dean Stockwell, and featured Devo in a prominent role.
“Solo Trans” and “A Day at the Gallery” continue the festival on Friday at 7:45 p.m., followed later that evening by Young/Shakey’s “Journey Through the Past,” a big-budget feature for its time that was shown in extremely limited release in 1974 and has been hard to come by ever since.
“Muddy Track” documents Young’s 1987 European tour with Crazy Horse, and will screen Saturday at 7:30 p.m., followed at 10 p.m. by “Rust Never Sleeps,” the “concert fantasy” film about his fabled 1979 tour with Crazy Horse that featured oversized stage props and crew members outfitted as Jawas from “Star Wars.”
Demme’s “Neil Young Trunk Show” will be shown Sunday at 4:30 p.m., ahead of the 7:30 p.m. evening screening of “The Monsanto Years,” an album Young has collaborated on with the Promise of the Real, the band featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah.
The festival concludes next Monday at 7:30 p.m. with “Greendale,” the 2003 Shakey film of his concept album about a community of antiwar activists and environmentalists under siege from corporate forces.
Admission for each film is $12 and free for Cinefamily members. More information is available at Cinefamily’s official website.