2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, bro’

  1. Filmer says:

    “Human Highway” (first release 1982) “Neil Young directed this bizarre bit of sci-fi-accented satire under his nom de cinema Bernard Shakey, as well as starring as Lionel Switch, an amiable but half-bright auto mechanic who has a furious crush on Charlotte Goodnight (Charlotte Stewart), a waitress at the diner next door to his garage. Lionel dreams of becoming a professional musician, and idolizes Frankie Fontaine (also played by Young), a particularly sleazy lounge singer. One day, to Lionel’s astonishment, Fontaine rolls up to his garage in a limousine, and Lionel has the spine-tingling honor of working on his car. Meanwhile, suspicious-looking bad guy Otto Quartz (Dean Stockwell) is scheming to buy the diner, which has something to do with a plot against the rattletrap nuclear power plant just down the road (the plant’s maintenance staff is played by members of the pioneering new wave band Devo). Along the way, we’re also treated to Lionel hanging out with his equally slow-witted pal Fred (Russ Tamblyn), enjoy the residents of the desert community performing an enthusiastic rendition of the old Kingston Trio chestnut “Worried Man,” and witness Lionel and Devo jamming on a long and wildly discordant version of “Hey Hey My My (Into the Black).” Financed by Young out of his pocket, and featuring Stockwell, Tamblyn, Dennis Hopper, and Sally Kirkland several years before they enjoyed critical rediscovery, Human Highway received a mostly puzzled reaction from audiences during its handful of theatrical engagements. It went largely unseen until it was released on home video more than ten years after it was completed (with the box featuring a quote from one of Young’s associates: “This is so bad, it’s going to be huge!”).” ~ Mark Deming, Rovi. Description of plot @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Highway#Plot Trailer for “HUMAN HIGHWAY” (Director’s Cut) @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZWiV9wY_R4 Entire film (1:24:35) @ https://vimeo.com/129600523 “Neil Young Talks ‘Human Highway’ And Set Janitor Kevin Costner” http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/09/11/neil-young-human-highway-tiff_n_5805066.html Filmed in New Mexico

    • Cahiers du Cinéma says:

      “…at the the height of his {Neil Young’s} commercial success, after the multi-platinum 1972 album “Harvest”, when he had enough clout to get Warner Bros. to release “Journey Through The Past”, a full-length movie he’d made in his spare time. Using the alias “Bernard Shakey” (a reference to his own periodic bouts with epilepsy), Young has gone on to make a handful of features: the 1979 concert film “Rust Never Sleeps”, 1982’s sci-fi comedy “Human Highway”, 2003’s activist rock opera “Greendale”, and the confrontational 2008 tour documentary “CSNY/Déjà Vu”. A packrat by nature, Young has divided his time between recording nearly everything he’s done and sorting through those archives looking for renewal. Making movies has been yet another way for Young to collate and categorize his obsessions, and make some sense of himself.” https://thedissolve.com/features/interdisciplinary/94-the-dovetailing-musical-and-directorial-careers-of/ “…Young says of Human Highway, “I like something that’s so unreal that you could believe it—where the set is obviously phony. Jerry Lewis movies, Japanese horror movies, The Wizard Of Oz—it’s all in there.” He adds, “The movie was made up on the spot by punks, potheads, and former alcoholics.”

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