See Young's "Rust Never Sleeps" and the rarely seen "Human Highway" tonight at the Elmwood 20.
Neil Young will play the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell on Sunday, May 1. A week before, he'll release his 1979 concert movie Rust Never Sleeps and his little-seen 1982 comedy Human Highway on DVD. Tonight, the movies will show as a double bill around the country for one night only—at the Elmwood Plaza 20 in Harahan, for those in the New Orleans area. Writer and filmmaker Cameron Crowe will interview Young, Devo's Gerald Casale, and other Human Highway cast members between the movies.
Rust Never Sleeps documents his 1978 tour, which featured music from the album of the same name in addition to Young classics. The tour had a theatrical component with oversized gear on stage and Star Wars-inspired “road-eyes” roaming the stage. Human Highway has “cult film” written all over it, with an eccentric cast that includes Young, Deco, Dean Stockwell, and Dennis Hopper, all at their scene-chewing best if the trailer is any indication.
Young made the movie under the pseudonym Bernard Shakey and stars in the film as Lionel Switch. After completing Human Highway, he was unable to find a studio that would pick it up, so the movie has had to sneak into the world, one VHS or videodisc release at a time until last year when it played the Toronto Film Festival. “At the time we made the film, I was really into Godard, so I wanted it to be real slow,” Young told the New York Times’ John Anderson last year. “I thought that was going to be really funny. And it was. To me. I was killing myself.”
The film has been released in a number of forms, each slightly different according to Devo’s Gerald Casale. “I’ve seen four versions, and I don’t know if there are more,” Casale told Anderson. “But here’s the funny thing. Usually, things don’t get better if you keep reworking them, beating them down into porridge. But this version is definitely the most satisfying, coherent, entertaining version, and I think it captures whatever Neil may have been after.”
The DVDs are available for pre-order now from Young's website.
Updated March 3, 10:14 a.m.
The link to Young's website has been found and corrected.