HUMAN HIGHWAY: DIRECTOR'S CUT / SOLO TRANS - Double Feature
Mon, Dec 5, 2016 7:00 pm
A duo of early 80s eccentricities. The director’s cut version of Neil Young’s mind-bending all-star post-apocalyptic “Wizard of Oz-on-acid” musical comedy HUMAN HIGHWAY is paired with SOLO TRANS, an hour-long “variety show”—a shape-shifting, experimental, and prophetic showcase in glorious analogue.
HUMAN HIGHWAY: DIRECTOR’S CUT
Dir. Bernard Shakey, USA, 1982/2015, 80min, NR, DCP
One of the wilder visions Neil Young ever had, HUMAN HIGHWAY is an anarchic satire conceived in the cauldron of Cold War America. It may also be the secret origin of The Simpsons. Recut and restored according to Young's own specifications, this fascinating but little-seen film features a riotous band of players—Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell (who also co-directed the film), Sally Kirkland, and the members of Devo—whose combined energies produced a cinematic Molotov cocktail aimed straight at our society's own cluelessness. Lionel Switch (Young) is an absolute nerd and the auto mechanic at a gas station owned by Otto (Stockwell), who also owns the adjacent diner where the waitress (Kirkland) is unpredictable and the cook (Hopper) flat-out volatile. They all live in a town next door to a nuclear plant, but no one seems to worry. Their ignorance won't matter much in the end, though, since this will be their last day on earth.
Dir. Hal Ashby, USA, 1984, 60min, NR, DCP
Directed by Hal Ashby, this highly lauded 1983 Neil Young concert film has only seen limited release on LaserDisc. Presented as an episode of Trans TV, the show finds Neil Young at an interesting artistic crossroads—illustrated by an opening solo acoustic set that moves into a song cycle of his experimental and electronic Trans period, followed with a closing set of rollicking rockabilly accompanied by Neil’s band The Shocking Pinks.