Monday, June 02, 2008

I’m Not There

Saw this much-lauded Dylan study on DVD at the weekend. It must be the first biopic of any note not to use the subject's name but still clearly identify him.

Director Todd Haynes (of "Velvet Goldmine" Bowie hearts Iggy infamy) explores a different facet of Dylan's character through different actors, at one stage casting the young Bob as a 10-year-old African-American freight train hobo. This one was probably a metaphor for some of the stories the songwriter used to tell about his background when he was starting out.

Haynes' interspersing of these vignettes throughout each other makes for a confusing ride. If I was blunt I'd say the movie's all over the place like a mad woman's shit but I'm not so I won't. And the Richard Gere one that pits "Dylan" into a "Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid" theme park where giraffes and ostriches run wild is a waste of celluloid or whatever they shoot this shit on.

Why Haynes has to project his own gay proclivities into Dylan and/or his fans (like, if you're a bloke have you ever checked out His Bobness' wedding tackle when you've seen him watering the horses?) is beyond me.

Australia's Own Cate B. played strong, done fine as Bobby D circa 1965 but Haynes left her fingernails and wedding ring in place (probably deliberately.) Strange to see Dylan Just Like a Woman but this was obviously playing up his female side.

I know it's arty so it was never meant to be a straight-up rendering of the story but I paid my $6.50 to hire it so I'm entitled to evaluate it as pretentious. Two stars out of five.

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