November 21, 2007 |
"I'm Not There" has a reputation for weirdness that I'm not sure it deserves. True, it does feature a half-dozen actors playing aspects of singer/songwriter/icon Bob Dylan, and one of them is a girl, but the impressionistic movie ends up getting to the essence of its subject in a way that approaches "Ray" or "Walk the Line. " And if it does so without the conventional biopic playbook, so much the better. Good as those movies were, they were uncannily similar - which is why they are due to be parodied in a few weeks by the comedy "Walk Hard.
November 20, 2007 |
For Todd Haynes, there was never going to be only one Bob Dylan. "There was a question of whether there should be six, or seven, or 20," says the director about I'm Not There, his perfectly titled movie about the most elusive of musical icons, in which Dylan is played by Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, and 11- year-old African American actor Marcus Carl Franklin. "But the idea of multiples as a way of getting to something true about him was almost plain as day," says the Far From Heaven director of the experimental biopic he conceived during a cross-country drive with a slew of Dylan tapes for company.
November 3, 2006 |
Joel Gilbert's three-DVD collection on Bob Dylan has almost everything a Dylanophile could want - interviews galore, candid photos, grainy home movies, inside information . . . everything, in fact, except the man himself. Dylan's voice is heard occasionally in this documentary, but not often enough. His music is performed by Gilbert's tribute band, Highway 61 Revisited, which boasts former members of Dylan's various touring bands. And Gilbert, who does most of the films' interviews and visits the troubadour's old haunts, dresses and acts the part quite a bit. But it's just not the same.
August 27, 2006 |
Bob Dylan is a doomsayer, spreading the word that trouble is on the way. He's a crusty romantic "studying the art of love," still hopeful, at 65, that "it'll fit me like a glove. " And he's a devilishly cheery troubadour with a Snidely Whiplash mustache who playfully couples "I got the pork chop, she got the pie" with "She ain't no angel, and neither am I. " Modern Times (Columbia . ?), Dylan's 44th album and his first in five years, contains multitudes. No surprise there.
September 26, 2005 |
The mental image is almost irresistible: Legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese sitting down with legendary singer/songwriter/recluse Bob Dylan to talk about Dylan's life and times for "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan," the two-part "American Masters" that premieres on PBS tonight. Too bad it doesn't seem to have happened that way. "I've had no contact with Bob Dylan," Scorsese told reporters in Los Angeles last winter in a session at which Dylan's absence was taken for granted (though it's not uncommon for "American Masters" subjects to show up for such press conferences)
February 20, 2005 |
Amos Lee is going places. So many places, in fact, that he has nowhere to call home. "I've been on tour for the last year," said the soulful, 6-foot-2 singer-songwriter, back in Philadelphia for a quick breather this month before the March 1 release of his self-titled debut album on Blue Note. "I don't have a place. " Ever since Norah Jones came calling a year ago, "have guitar, will travel" has been the abiding philosophy for Lee, 27, who grew up in South Philadelphia and Kensington and spent his teenage years in Cherry Hill.
August 17, 2004 |
These days, when Bob Dylan takes the stage on his Never Ending Tour - if it's Tuesday, he must be in Charleston, S.C. - he's introduced as "the poet laureate of rock-and-roll. " The songwriting bard has answered to that title since the early 1960s, when the jingle jangle of his "skipping reels of rhyme" exploded notions of pop music's creative limitations, and in the words of Bruce Springsteen, "freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body. " But do great pop songs qualify as great poems?
April 20, 2004 |
My husband had just bought the newly issued CD of Bob Dylan's 1964 concert at Philharmonic Hall in New York, and our 15-year-old daughter was perplexed at yet another addition to our already extensive Dylan archive. She had never understood what made this raspy-voiced guy so important, anyway. "Why is he famous?" she asked. Delighted at the opportunity to deliver a history lesson, her father - a passionate antiwar activist during the Vietnam years - spent the next couple of hours playing old songs and explaining Dylan's seminal role in the protest music of the 1960s.
April 3, 2004 |
Moments before Bob Dylan walked onstage at different area venues on three successive nights this week, an anonymous announcer served up an overview of the bard's career. Through the sometimes deafening applause, you could pick up such phrases as "substance abuse" and "found God," and "who was written off as a has-been in the late '80s. " The idea, evidently, was to acquaint newcomers to the Church of Bob with his unprecedented reach, the myriad ways his music has informed and commented upon and threaded through American life during more than four trippy decades.
September 5, 2003 |
Masked and Anonymous isn't a good movie, at least by any conventional definition of the word good. But it's not a bad movie, either. It's a Bob Dylan movie. Which means that the pleasure (or pain) derived from watching it is in direct proportion to just how much of a fool for Bob Dylan you happen to be. And while it may be a slight exaggeration to say this is a Bob Dylan world, it's certainly a world full of Bob Dylan lovers, judging by the all-star cast assembled for the intentionally puzzling Larry Charles-directed saga (which looks great, despite a mere $4 million budget)