» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

May 7, 2008
RATING: 9/10
The freewheeling, experimental Bob Dylan anti-biopic, I'm Not There, released yesterday to DVD, was truly one of the best films of 2007. There could be no better director to take on the gargantuan task of relating the life of such an iconic artist than Todd Haynes, who previously delved into musical subject matter with films like Velvet Goldmine, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, and several videos for Sonic Youth (Kim Gordon makes a cameo appearance in I'm Not There).

Weaving and bobbing its way through a narrative, I'm Not There casts actors of various age, sex, and race as surrogate Dylans, and as unconventional as it is this device never feels contrived or pretentious. Marcus Carl Franklin, a young African American actor, plays the hobo Dylan posing as Woodie Guthrie, Christian Bale tackles the Greenwich Village-era Dylan, Heath Ledger creates a self-absorbed movie star Dylan, Richard Gere a Billy the Kid-style woodsman Dylan, and Cate Blanchett the electric guitar-wielding Dylan.

And why not? After all, the real Dylan wasn't shy about creating a persona for himself or inserting his own story into folk and pop music mythology. The film culls real-life episodes and interactions from Dylan's personal history and inserts them into Haynes' imaginative world of parallel Dylans existing simultaneously in a filmic universe of metaphor and parable. Verbal sparring with reporters, the notorious crowd reaction to his use of an electric guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, the infamous motorcycle accident - in Haynes' version these events exist in a surrogate reality, manipulated without straying too far from the truth. Each storyline is given a different film stock - some in black and white, some in color - but each noticeably and strikingly different from the rest. The performances of Ledger and Blanchett are especially fine, but the soundtrack cannot be ignored either. Dylan's classics are performed in their original forms as well as via interpretations by the likes of Stephen Malkmus, Cat Power, and Sonic Youth.

The two-disc Collector's Edition of I'm Not There is packed with bonus material, including a director's commentary by Haynes, deleted scenes, on-screen song lyrics, outtakes, auditions, and a "Dylanography." One of the better takes on Dylan's storied career, and easily one of the best films of last year, just became one of the better DVD releases of 2008.

TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZGseissqX8

SEE ALSO: www.imnotthere-movie.com

Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other articles by Jonah Flicker.



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