I'm Not There (2007)
So startling in its invention, so beautiful and stunning the photography and acting, and so appropriate for its subject, Bob Dylan, why does it not quite hold water?
Don't get me wrong, I love the movie, the music, and Cate Blanchett equally. It has an extraordinary logic to its many many parts, as well, making not only a fanciful (downright surreal) patchwork of a movie, but a reasonable commentary on the true life Dylan. I could and will watch it again.
If you don't know much about Bob Dylan, or don't like his music, I have to say the odds are against you here. If there ever was a movie filled with references (many of them highly symbolic and distant, veiled even), this is it. Even if you like Dylan you might find it hard to follow, so you need to enjoy just sitting back and going for the ride. I'm not sure getting stoned first would help in this case because it's so disorienting at times.
Advice for the uninitiated? Read a quick bio of Dylan (Wikipedia might work) and get a sense of at least these core moments: 1) he visited Woody Guthrie on his death bed and was playing folk songs in a traditional vein, 2) he modernized when he moved to the Village, still keeping the folk sound with edgy new lyrics (and this is when he met Joan Baez), 3) he shocked everyone when he went electric at a folk festival (actually at Newport), 4) he was in a near fatal motorcycle accident in 1966 5) he took on a cowboy persona for his 1967 album, John Wesley Harding. That should help with some orientation for the different characters and scenes.
For those who are right for the film, including no doubt the director Todd Haynes, who got Dylan's approval for the project ahead of time, this will be a memorable experience.
I'm Not There (2007) 1080p YIFY Movie
I'm Not There (2007) 1080p
Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.
IMDB: 7.04 Likes
The Synopsis for I'm Not There (2007) 1080p
Six incarnations of Bob Dylan: an actor, a folk singer, an electrified troubadour, Rimbaud, Billy the Kid, and Woody Guthrie. Put Dylan's music behind their adventures, soliloquies, interviews, marriage, and infidelity. Recreate 1960s documentaries in black and white. Put each at a crossroads, the artist becoming someone else. Jack, the son of Ramblin' Jack Elliott, finds Jesus; handsome Robbie falls in love then abandons Claire. Woody, a lad escaped from foster care, hobos the U.S. singing; Billy awakes in a valley threatened by a six-lane highway; Rimbaud talks. Jude, booed at Newport when he goes electric, fences with reporters, pundits, and fans. He won't be classified.
The Director and Players for I'm Not There (2007) 1080p
The Reviews for I'm Not There (2007) 1080p
In a Dylanesque surrealism, his character broken and reassembled with flawed brillianceReviewed bysecondtakeVote: 7/10
I'm Not There (2007)
Before I saw this movie, I didn't know very much about Bob Dylan. By watching this I was hoping to gain some insight into his life and his beloved songwriting. After viewing the movie I walked away more confused than I did coming in. For an artist that wrote and performed songs relating to the working class American, it seems strange that a pretentious art-house angle would be used to portray his life. He came across as a cold, bitter individual. The meandering and unfocused direction of the movie seemed to have been made by an amateur college student with no sense of breathing life into it's subject. It's a shame that the talent of Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and others were wasted. Perhaps I will gain a strong appreciation of Dylan, but I didn't from watching this.
Haynes' adventurous biopic of Bob Dylan, which uses six actors of both sexes and several races ranging in ages from 11 to 50, is both exhausting and fun to watch. It's also hard to describe. But let's start with those six and the characters or facets they portray. Arthur (Ben Whishaw) is the Dylan who incarnated Rimbaud and serves as a kind of narrator whom we see smoking and giving ironic answers to some kind of inquisition sporadically throughout the film. Woody (the wonderful young Marcus Carl Franklin, an amazing a singer and actor) is a precocious rail-hopper with a guitar (labeled like the real Woody's, THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS) and tall tales that start with his claim that he's Woody Guthrie. Woody's scenes show him rescued by a black family and a white family and performing with country black musicals. He represents the early shape-shifting Dylan in search of an identity and telling a lot of lies along the way.
Jack (Christian Bale) is the Dylan who became a hit in Greenwich Village and went into the South and sang "The Ballad of Hattie Carroll" and other protest "folk songs,"?the high-profile "political" Dylan who spearheaded a movement and became famous with his brilliant early LP's. But Jack doesn't want to be typecast and "betrays" his adoring public and his lover and folksinging champion Alice (Julianne Moore), a Joan Baez stand-in seen in later "interviews." Jack disappears and his place is taken by Robbie (Heath Ledger), a young actor in New York who becomes famous for starring in a 1965 film depicting the vanished Jack. Robbie meets Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) in a Village coffee shop and falls in love, and a turbulent ten-year marriage follows, winding up painfully at the time of the Vietnam War's end.
If Jack represents the cast-off early style and Robbie represents Dylan's family life, Jude (Cate Blanchett) is Dylan the artist, quintessentially as seen in the mid-to-late Sixties when he toured England (an event notably chronicled by two Leacock-Pennebaker documentaries)?and shocked his audiences, some of whose members felt betrayed and shouted "Judas!", when he shifted from solo guitar and harmonica to more personal songs with loud rock accompaniment. Jude's segments are partly borrowed from Pennebaker, but largely consist of gorgeous black and white scenes deliberately and "churlishly" (Haynes' word) imitative of Fellini's 8 ?.
Jude's new style is admired by Allen Ginsberg (David Cross) and underground groupie Coco Rivington (Michelle Williams) and he becomes internationally famous. But he continues to be misunderstood by the protest music old guard and conventional journalists like the British TV host Mr. Jones (Bruce Greenwood)?who's incorporated into a music video for Highway 61 Revisited's "Ballad of a Thin Man": ". . .something is happening here /And you don't know what it is, do you, Mister Jones." . .
Jude and Arthur articulate the early Dylan's challenging, ironic stance to the public, but Jude is exhausted on tour and his nihilism leads him to an existential crisis.
He's reborn symbolically in Pastor John (Christian Bale again), who's moved to Stockton twenty years later and become a born-again preacher, singing his own gospel songs. Finally the last version of Dylan appears in Billy (Richard Gere), in full retreat from the world?till threats to destroy his town of Riddle cause him to enter public life again. This sequence evokes a Sixties historical western in which Pat Garrett (Bruce Greenwood) is a character.
This is only the barest outline of the two-and-a-quarter-hour film, in which various "Dylan's" are woven in and out. Maybe the reason why I found Woody's sequences delightful and Billy's colorful but wearying has to do with the latter's coming two hours later. But Gere and his sequences evoke Dylan less well and are puzzling to interpret. Blanchett's in contrast are, of course, the most conventionally straightforward. She's the only one who successfully mimics the physical appearance and the speaking voice of the artist (unless Whishaw does a better job with the voice). But Blanchett's mimicry is intentionally undercut (and the biopic conventionality of films like Ray avoided) by having Jude be played by a woman?which was planned by Haynes in his screenplay before he even chose his actor.
The method Haynes has chosen avoids cliché. This is still a biopic, but it's a sophisticated one; and the fractured portrait is well justified by the nature of its subject. Dylan has always been a shape-shifter; some of his permutations were left out, such as the period of the orthodox Jew and JDL supporter. But it's intelligent to see Dylan the man, the husband, the artist, the political being, and the religious being as completely separate entities because no simple biopic sequence can really dramatize the complexity of such an artist and such a protean existence. Haynes' film makes you think about biography itself, as well as giving imaginative shape to aspects of Bob Dylan no non-fiction account can really provide.
Maybe it's the daringly experimental methodology that led Dylan himself, approached through his eldest son Jesse,to grant Haynes both the musical rights and the biographical rights. Haynes has chosen a multifaceted and original way of using Dylan's songs. Only Franklin actually performs them with his own voice. Otherwise the soundtrack mixes original Dylan recordings with existing covers, new ones by people as widely various as Ritche Havens, Iggy Pop, John Doe and Sonic Youth, and other music, including, appropriately for the 8 ?- esquire sequences, Nino Rota. There is a voice-over narration by Kris Kristofferson. Haynes worked on the screenplay for years, and then collaborated with Oren Moverman.
Not for mainstream audiences or be prime Oscar bait, but a challenging, fun watch.
Shown in the press screenings of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center 2007. Haynes was present fort a Q&A afterward with J. Hoberman of the Village Voice, which revealed that the director is an intelligent and articulate man and who knows his Dylan.