Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Look Back’

The 6 Faces Of Dylan, Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

The 6 Faces Of Dylan, Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There, Uptown Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2007, photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


Buttered popcorn in hand, I viewed I’m Not There at the Uptown Theater a few weeks ago. I have to admit, when my friends and I plopped down in the Uptown’s long-ago upholstered, vintage seats, we had no idea what to expect.

I wasn’t disappointed. The Todd Haynes film is a riddle inside a Cate Blanchett enigma. Playing Jude, the Thin, Wild Mercury Bob, she’s one of the best parts of the whole film, right down to her classic 1965 polka dot shirt. Her flavorful and juicy depiction of Dylan brought to mind one of my favorite scenes from the D. A. Pennebaker film, Don’t Look Back (a documentary on Bob Dylan’s tour of England in 1965).

Even if you aren’t a Dylan fan, rent this film. It captures the strange unrest and tension between (and within) 60’s counterculture and what was then considered The Establishment (aka The Man). (Yes, that’s Ginsberg in the background.)


Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues clip from the 1965 D.A. Pennebaker film, Don’t Look Back (posted by JG2000 on YouTube)


But I digress.

Other heavy hitters in I’m Not There? (The Rolling Stone character guide lays it out for you.) Richard Gere as a kind of Billy the Kid in The Drifter’s Escape. Marcus Carl Franklin as the 11-year-old Woody, Bound For Glory. Christian Bale as Jack, the protest singer, and Pastor John, the evangelical minister in You Gotta Serve Somebody. Heath Ledger portrays Jack in the Dylan period near and dear to my heart – the Tangled Up In Blue, Blood On The Tracks era. And finally, the least understood, Ben Whishaw as Arthur, the Poet, Jokerman, and Thief.

Confused? Not half as much as you will be when you watch this film. Even diehard fans will do a few doubletakes. The film is chock full of symbolism and references to the life and times of Bob Dylan. The Woody Guthrie scene was moving. I laughed out loud at Cate Blanchett’s romp on the hill with the Beatles. And her encounters with Allen Ginsberg (played by David Cross) are worth the $8.50 ticket.

Dylan Days - Zimmy's Magnet, Hibbing, Minnesota, Summers 2005, 2006,photo © 2007 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.  I’m not a hardcore Dylan fan, more of a convert. It seems I have always dated, studied under, and partnered with women who love Dylan.  But Blood On The Tracks is one of my all-time Top 10 albums. And I wouldn’t trade the last two summers of Dylan Days in Hibbing, Minnesota for the world.

Dylan Days unfolds in Hibbing every year, complete with a bus tour, battle of the bands (at Zimmy’s), walk-through of his childhood home, and every Dylan book imaginable at the independent bookstore, Howard Street Booksellers. There’s a screening of the Mary Feidt/Natalie Goldberg film, Tangled Up In Bob. And at our last Dylan Days, Liz and I saw the original Minnesota Blood On The Tracks band perform on the same Hibbing High School stage where Dylan got his start.

Dylan is a poet’s poet. He has stolen a corner of my heart. Not only for his prolific writing, but for all he has endured – the legend he has become. He’s another of those misunderstood rebels, like James Dean and Kerouac, who’s gotten under my skin.

You’ll find I’m Not There playing at an independent theater in the artsy section of town; judge the 135 minute film for yourself. If you’re not a Dylan fan, I guarantee you’ll leave shaking your head. If you are a Dylan fan, you’ll still leave scratching it. Then you’ll go out to Sebastian Joe’s for ice cream and talk about the symbolism you did get, vowing to see it again for all that you missed.

I don’t want to spoil the fun by inserting the trailer. Instead, I’m going to wrap this up with another YouTube clip that shows Dylan at his best – romping with Allen Ginsberg.


Bob Dylan & Allen Ginsberg from the 1978 film, Renaldo and Clara, music Not Dark Yet from Time Out of Mind (posted by chimeman on YouTube – if you click on his link, you can see a ton more Dylan clips)



-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, December 6th, 2007

Read Full Post »