Saturday, January 12, 2008

The only people blowing in idiot wind are those who don't like I'm Not There

I finally got around to seeing I'm Not There tonight, and it was probably my favorite movie of 2007. It follows six different characters that all represent a different characteristic and life stage of Bob Dylan. I went in not knowing much about Bob Dylan, and I came out knowing even less. But that's not the point of the movie. Don't go expecting to see a biography of an artist. No one in the film is even named Bob Dylan. One of the actors meant to portray him is a 10 year old black person. For me, despite the obvious plot parallels and the fact that it was scored by mostly Dylan songs, the film was less about Dylan than it was about artistic expression and the evolution of music in a highly politicized era: then again, no one stands for that more than Bob Dylan. The irony, of course, being that he was the least complicit icon of that time: when someone called him folk he plugged in his guitar and played electric. He was a true rebel, refusing to conform in any way that might remotely cater to the media or his adoring public. And while the film captures this spirit, it was the cinematography that I was most taken with: drawing on influences from both Godard and Fellini, director Todd Haynes accomplishes something innovative and beautiful in both a traditional and nontraditional sense. By chopping scenes and using both black and white and color film, the movie seems more like a poem than anything else: it becomes a synthesis of words, images and music that strings together fact and fiction and six character portraits seamlessly to create a coherent picture of the life of an American music icon.

Also, Cate Blanchett is fucking awesome in it. She was more Dylan than Dylan himself.

I highly recommend this film. GO SEE IT.


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