Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Dylan doc and other stuff

A lot of people are talking, rightly so, about the Dylan/Scorsese doc "No Direction Home." It's a really solid piece of work, with some nice parallels with "Lawrence of Arabia" (there's even a motorcycle crash!). But the best bit, which my Dylan-nut friend and I agree on, comes right after some footage of Dylan and the Hawks in the UK in '66. There he is, completely torn and frayed, his hair huge and his demeanor mean and sour. Suddenly, the screen says "three years earlier," and there's baby-faced Bob Dylan singing protest songs. Wow. What "No Direction Home" provides is this kind of context, a valuable chronology that shows how far Dylan went in such a short span of time, how much of an impact he had and how easily he could raze and rebuild his legacy. He's been, to some degree, in '66-mode ever since, the earnest protest singer of yore dead and gone forever, apparently buried in Woodstock, New York.

I knew it was coming, but I still almost crapped my pants when I saw this morning that they've finally remastered "Born to Run" and are packaging it with Springsteen's 1975 London performance. Cool!

There's a publicist who always calls me about upcoming movies, constantly offering the caveat that this and that is "a foreign film." Then she calls me about "High Tension" (which is French) and "Unded" (which is Australian), but doesn't give the "foreign film" warning. Could it be that horror movies, or genre-films in general, transcend the foreign tag? Maybe. Hong Kong films (for example) are "Hong Kong films," not foreign films, as are Japanese horror flicks or even Thai dramas. "Foreign film" still connotes something stuffy or intellectual, akin to "arthouse" but in a different language. And no one would confuse "High Tension" and "Undead" for arthouse films (or particularly good films, for that matter).


Blogger Nick said...

I love the archival footage of Bob Dylan being an especially contrarian sourpus in part two of "No Direction Home." I think I didn't need to see the whole thing, though -- it kinda saps some of the gravitational pull of "Don't Look Back." Joan Baez is still a hottie, tho'!

9:24 AM  

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