Saturday, July 26, 2008
"WE HAVE ALL BEEN HERE BEFORE": CSNY'S DEJA VU DOC
I saw the Crosby Stills Nash & Young doc Deja Vu (directed by "Bernard Shakey," aka Neil Young) tonight. I was incredibly moved. Not necessarily because of the band members. But because some of the other people interviewed in the film: veteran of this and other wars, and family members of soldiers. There were parts that were pretty devastating.
And it wasn't self-congratulatory to the band, either. You see people getting really angry with them, there are some really harsh reviews of their shows used in the film, and conservative radio DJs are interviewed (and arch-conservative TV host Stephen Colbert's interview with Neil is included as well). There's also footage of Neil messing up the words to "Carry On" and some unflattering footage of Stephen Stills falling down on stage. Speaking of Stills, it's interesting, he somehow comes off as the most eloquent guy in the group. If the book Shakey is to be believed, he is (or was) the craziest guy in the band, and was the biggest prick with the biggest ego. I don't know much about the guy, but he seems to have changed a lot. Although he's as outraged at what is going on in the world as David Crosby, Graham Nash or Young, because he's a little more conservative, he comes off as less shrill. (I'm not putting those guys down, I can get a bit soap-boxy myself.) Plus, he's the guy who puts his time (and probably money) where his mouth is, helping Democratic candidates campaign in hopes of making a difference through more than singing.
Is it the only doc about the war that you should see? No, but it is a very moving and - I'll say it - fair and balanced film. I recommend it, and not as a Neil Young fan, just as an American.
By the way, you don't need to go to the theater to see it: you can watch it on demand on Netflix.com (only on a PC though).