Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

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Like Dylan In The Movies

I went to see I'm Not There last night.

I'm Not There, for those who don't follow bizarre movie news, is a Bob Dylan biopic in which aspects of his life are portrayed by six actors, none of whom plays a character called Bob Dylan, one of whom is a little black lad and one of whom is Cate Blanchett.

Unsurprisingly reviews have been mixed; hoshuteki has been raving about it since November, while one of my colleagues walked out.

My knowledge of Dylan's life is similar to that set out by Nick Hornby in 31 Songs: Greenwich Village; Joan Baez; Judas!; motorcycle accident; divorce; a bunch of albums of varying quality; Theme Time Radio Hour. After two and a quarter hours of movie I wasn't much the wiser.

The six strands of narrative each have their own tone, pace and film style: crisp black-and-white for the UK tour, lush colour for the little boy and his guitar; grainy monochrome for the drawling monologues of 'Arthur Rimbaud'.

The portions I found draggy were the periods I knew least about (the Billy the Kid stuff), so I'm sure that if I were a more dedicated Bobologist I would have got on better with them.

I'd heard a lot about Cate Blanchett's amazing performance and didn't believe a word of it, but I was wrong. She's got the gaunt, strung-out mannerisms of 1966's 'Jude Quinn' off perfectly. I loved the far-out London setting, too, making her scenes my favourites. The other scene-stealer was Marcus Carl Franklin as the child-hobo Dylan, whose jamming session on a verandah with Richie Havens is pure feelgood.

The whole soundtrack is brilliant, of course. There are too many great songs to mention, but an incredibly sinister version of 'Cold Irons Bound' is a stand-out.

Well worth seeing in my opinion. I didn't try too hard to understand what was going on, just patted myself on the back when I got it and let it wash over me when I didn't.

But oh, it was agony waiting for the motorcycle crash.

In conclusion, I especially liked that the Joan Baez character was called Alice.
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