Decades-in-the-making documentary Neil Young: Harvest Time now showing in San Antonio

The beautifully shot film captures Young in a series of now-legendary locations where his hit album Harvest was recorded.

click to enlarge Neil Young performs onstage 25 years after the release of his 1971 breakthrough Harvest. - Wikimedia Commons / Lax
Wikimedia Commons / Lax
Neil Young performs onstage 25 years after the release of his 1971 breakthrough Harvest.
San Antonians how have the chance to view a limited-release film 50 years in the making: Neil Young: Harvest Time.

The never-befor e-released 1971 documentary follows rock icon Neil Young, then in his 20s, as he records his classic Harvest LP, whose hit singles “Old Man” and “Heart of Gold,” along with guest appearances by fellow superstars Linda Rondstadt, James Taylor and David Crosby sent the singer-songwriter's career into the stratosphere.

The film is showing Thursday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 4 at several San Antonio cineplexes, and at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Park North location.

The beautifully shot Harvest Time captures Young in a series of now-legendary locations where the album was recorded: during a live performance with the London Symphony Orchestra, in his Northern California barn and at a proper Nashville studio. His quirks are still on ample display in those settings — but filtered through a multi-platinum pop lens. This is an artist at the peak of his powers.

Young has spent the rest of his career running away from the success Harvest provided, confounding fans with various lo-fi and off-brand albums (Tonight's the Night and Trans), wacky ideas (the PONO audio player, owning a herd of bison, creating an electric car from a 1959 Lincoln) and experimental films (Journey Through the Past and Human Highway). But it's precisely that irascible unpredictability that makes his fans so loyal.

Harvest Time's release comes as Young continues unloading rare and unseen albums, photographs and films from his voluminous and legendary backlog. Neil Young: Harvest Time, long teased to his die-hard fans, has largely been confined to his Archives website, which makes this theatrical release extra special. 

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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