Aug 31, 2005

Human Highway (1982)

Am I the only one who likes this bloody thing? Neil Young directs under the pseudonym of Bernard Shakey and hires a lot of his counterculture pals (Dean Stockwell, Dennis Hopper) in this near-plotless account of life at a roadside diner set near a radiation dump, with a phony 50's setting and an early 80's no-nuke sentiment. The look of this film is possibly what gives most of its appeal to me- David Myers' candy-coloured cinematography and the intentionally stagy feel forces the artificial 1950's feel, showing that our then-current concerns about radiation are akin to those shared by our ancestors, and that even though we colloquially think of the 1950's as white picket-fence wholesomeness, Mr. Shakey reminds us of the dark cloud that hovered above the Cleaver mindset. Young gives himself a weird role, and a fantasy sequence where he can get away with playing music, to boot. Hey, even Devo is in it. How cool is that?

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