In the fall of 2005, legendary rocker Neil Young debuted a suite of new songs, "Prairie Wind," at Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Ole Opry. This exquisite concert film captures Young performing these and a few older chestnuts with his pals, including Emmylou Harris, wife Peg, and a who's who of country session players. Evocative backdrops, moody set lighting, and Demme's fluid camerawork add to the experience.
Why we love it
This lovely, deeply affecting music doc gets the red-carpet treatment from "Stop Making Sense" director Jonathan Demme, who briefly introduces each of the players on their way to the show before literally zooming in on Young's remarkable performance. Singing folk-country songs about mortality, empty nests, and aged parents, Young's choppy rhythms and images of swaying Canadian cornfields hark back to his early '70s work on "Harvest" and "Comes a Time." It's obvious he's enjoying himself, and his between-song banter is tart, concise, and utterly charming. If you don't come away from "Heart of Gold" humming, you better have your ears checked.