Friday, February 08, 2008

Not There, Still Here

Bob Dylan is alive. I wonder what he thought of "I'm Not There," assuming, as I am, that he saw the split-personality biopic-collage directed by Todd Haynes.

As you may know, the film has six actors interpreting seven incarnations or phases/aspects of Dylan, none of them named Dylan. It's a non-linear collage, sometimes dense, more often lively, and it's acting-fest where Cate Blanchett shoots the moon, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale are pitch-perfect as well.

Not everyone's cup of oo-long, but I'll glady have seconds...

At left, Cate and the real deal. On to the 5 parameters....

1. Four Words That Encapsule: "Bob Dylan Deconstructed, Creatively"

2. Haiku (5/7/5):
'My seven faces;
or phases; open my soul
o acting posse!'

3. Oblique Comments: Cate Blanchett! What a acting tour de force bordering on optical illusion. I kept looking at her for gender clues, and she morphed impressively, into a skinny, troubled, male - a no-frills, downbeat androgyny - the antithesis of glam rock or Bowie.

4. Insight: a) It was quite effective to switch back and forth between color and black & white. This technique gave the a film a more 'documentary' feel, and accentuated the shifts in mood and character. b) Haynes was smart not to load the soundtrack with Dylan's greatest hits, in the manner of a Big Hollywood Biopic - he used album tracks that are lesser known by equally poetic and perhaps more representative of Dylan's body of work;

5. Link: - Metacritic review summary - It got a 73, which is like a B. That's probably what I'd give it, since it's fascinating but dense.

Here's the movie trailer...

and here's Bob Dylan, first singing, then talking... Here's perhaps his best song, 'Mr Tambourine Man,' sung acoustic - of course it's the electric version by The Byrds that became a hit and a classic... Dylan, too, would go electric shortly after this 1964 performance at Newport...

Bob Dylan's Time magazine interview - he was a difficult subject and a handful...

Cartoon du Jour:

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