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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

"I don't believe you...you're a liar!"

I greatly enjoyed Part I of Martin Scorsese’s “No Direction Home: Bob Dylan” on PBS last night. It was really powerful. I was crazy tired watching it, but couldn't turn it off. Very impressed with how intelligible Dylan was in the interviews.
I've always had Dylan archivist friends, but I was never one of them. This production has made Dylan much more accessible, even if he is an enigma.

Looking forward to Part II tonight.

Here's a great link exploring the Judas shouter during the historic Manchester, England show, May 17, 1966.


  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Jen said…

    Studio Place Arts is great! But, I'm buying the darkroom from a friend who is moving, so it's coming to me at a low cost. Thanks for the tip, though!

  • At 8:33 PM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    Thanks for the link to the Judas article. I had never about that guy.

    I loved the film too. Rather than retyping all of my comments from another site, here is what I wrote (sorry about the length; I'm a wordy bastard):

    I just finished watching the film on PBS. Some random thoughts:

    - I really enjoyed it. However, it would have had to been horrible for me to not enjoy it. 3 1/2 hours of videos and interviews supporting my feelings about Dylan will always be enjoyable to watch.

    - Having seen and read dozens of interviews with Dylan over the years, I always had the sense that Dylan was never being honest with the interviewer or the fan. He always seemed to be playing a cat & mouse game with all of us. However, the interview with him in this film was very different. It seemed like Dylan finally wanted to add his two bits to the story of his life in an honest manner. My one complaint about the interview was that it was too chopped up. We would get one or two sentences at the most in each clip. I would have like to see some long continous stretches of the interview. I find Dylan to be fascinating to watch. His twitches, eye movements, etc. are all engaging and I love watching it all. Even the words are unusual and almost poetic in their short statements. Is the interview available in a longer length on the DVD?

    - The interviews with Ginsberg were great too. His love and respect for Dylan always comes through when Ginsberg speaks of him.

    - I've always gotten the feeling of sour grapes from Dave Van Ronk. I think he felt that he was supposed to be the guy that busted out of the NYC folk scene to stardom and is bitter on some level towards Dylan for taking his place.

    - My favorite shot was the one towards the end when they show the seemingly endless line of people lining up to see Dylan. So much has been made of the fact that people booed Dylan when he went electric. However, very rarely do people point out that while that was happening, he was becoming more popular than ever. I think Scorcese did a decent job of pointing out that it was mainly the die-hard folkies that freaked but by showing that line, it was a reminder how huge Dylan was becoming with the masses. There was also a mention in there from Al Kooper about how "Like a Rolling Stone" was the #1 song in the country at the same time he was being booed at Forest Hills.

    - I had never seen the video footage of the infamous "Judas" incident. The video footage removed a lot of tension from the scene. Listening to the audio recording, I always thought that everything stopped when the guy yelled "Judas!" I had this image of Dylan being surprised by the line and standing at the mic slightly stunned before replying "I don't believe you". Then there is a few seconds of silence before Dylan says "You're a liar". In that time, I had always imagined a building of tension with Dylan just staring out at the crowd or something. However, the filmed showed that Dylan was occupied with the band and moving around the stage during the moments of silence. He didn't seem all that phased by the comment in the video and, as I said before, it was a less tense moment.

    - Between this film, Dont' Look Back, and Eat the Document, I think this chapter of his career is very well documented. Now I would like to see someone turn their focus to the next fifteen years of his career. From Blonde on Blonde to Infidels is an amazing long period of creativity for an artist filled with lots of mini sub-periods. You have the reclusive years following his accident; the country exploration; the re-emergence and Rolling Thunder Revue; the "Vegas" years; and finally the religious period. There is a lot to document there.

    - There is something about Joan Baez that has always annoyed me. I can't put my finger on it but I don't like her. Perhaps its the fact that I don't like her voice and therefore can't reconcile her attitude that she is somehow important musically and culturally.

  • At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    joan baez is lame...shes thinks she is cool but she is not...what was with her interview in her yupified kitchen?

    just cause you are bob dylan's girlfriend doesnt make you important culturally...she is like many hippies they talk at long lengths yet you leave the conversation having learned nothing...i think bob dylan got tired of her self righteousness...i know i am

  • At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I get the feeling that Joan is continually asked about Dylan not that she is seeking out attention for their friendship.


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