A year after Neil Young provided the searing, largely improvised solo guitar soundtrack for Dead Man, Jarmusch made his only documentary to date: a scrapbook of interviews, archival clips, and concert footage of Young’s band Crazy Horse shot over the course of their 1996 world tour. The performances, which Jarmusch often lets play out in full, lie squarely at the heart of the film, but the surrounding interviews give a surprising, candid account of the band’s 30-year history. There’s always been a tension between Crazy Horse’s status as a full-fledged rock group and its frequent billing as Young’s backing band—a tension that Jarmusch leaves suggestively open. At the time, the band’s fuzzed-out, feverish guitar squalls were being touted as an ancestor to the then-booming grunge movement, and Year of the Horse, which Jarmusch shot on a mixture of Super-8, 16mm, and video, has—to lift the title from one of Crazy Horse’s previous live records—a similar brand of ragged glory.

Screening with:

Neil Young – Big Time
Jim Jarmusch | 7m