Maybe it’s because yesterday my eyeballs were soiled by Die Antwoord’s new video (don’t watch it) and today I accidentally watched the video of the Eton chaps doing a Gangnam video (don’t watch it) but something about this video from Neil Young & Crazy Horse made me want to cry with happiness. There is no denying that it is absolutely brilliant.
Made up of old, found footage — not picked at random by Lana Del Rey — but chosen specifically so they tell a tale, and are woven in with the lyrics which, by the way, are heartbreaking, to make a succinct, crushing video. The story told? It’s of love, of course, but it’s from the prespective of an old couple, looking back on their youth and pondering how to endure what they have together now, and how to appreciate each other for what they had when they were young, now the kids are gone and they’re alone together again.
One thing – it is long. You can potter through the first 10 minutes like a long and pleasant car journey en route to a family holiday. Through rolling American valleys we watch old clips of teenagers hanging out in parks, couples doing arbitrary things like setting up mediocre picnics, or leaving against trees in the street.
Among these clips are periods of time where it’s just psychedelic, kaleidoscopic patterns. Suddenly at 11 minutes in Neil’s voice returns, breaking you out of your kaleidoscopic daze with a heart-wrenching lyrics of “Seems like lately things are changing” with a clip of a woman tossing and turning in bed. The happy days are over! The next five minutes of this song — which may be his best song? — are tortuous! Gut-achingly sad, clipped lyrics are accompanied with scenes of lone women making cakes in old kitchens, and of more blurry views out of windscreens on to lonely roads.
I beg you to give this video and song some special time. Old Neil’s just summed up life and love in one go and not just for him, but for everyone — you’d be mad to miss it.