> Volume 6 > Number 29


Neil Young

Sarah White
Ben Keith
Elizabeth Keith
Erik Markegard
James Mazzeo

Release: 19 Mar. 04



Neil Young and most of the folk music scene isnít particularly my cup of tea, nor are polemics with little context besides one manís rant. But I do like experiments with narrative filmmaking, and Greendale, even if a needless selection of the other three, is an experiment that must be seen to be believed.

Does this mean I recommend Greendale? Absolutely not -- itís one of the most inane, idiotic, and annoying films to come along in some time. And yet I was hypnotized by its faults. Bad singing coupled with a bad story and homemade sets turns this into more of a joke than anything else. Itís a Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie without the slightest need for Joel/Mike and the robots.

Yet this is an incredibly political film, so much that I expect hilarity was Youngís last intent. Greendale is so intoxicated by its Message that I can believe no one in the cast and crew (surely adherents to Youngís Green Party platform schematics) stopped to consider how ridiculous the whole endeavor was. The Young element, the folk music, and the politics were the least of my worries, but this unintentional experiment in testing the audienceís tolerance in watching an utterly bad film is brilliant

©2004, David Perry,, 16 July 2004