Thursday, July 02, 2009

65 Revisited

This film is a bonus disc of outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker's classic film Don't Look Back. I have had two different editions of the film for a couple of years (including the deluxe set pictured below) but have only just gotten around to watching this bonus disc. It is very similar in style to Don't Look Back with its black and white cinema verite style. The camera can actually be heard whirring and clicking through much of this footage. This is a great little slice of life recording Dylan's 1965 tour of England just before the 1966 world tour that saw him shock the folk purists by plugging in and rocking out with the Hawks. It is more than a collection of disconnected outtakes but a film in its own right. Think of it as another witnesses version of the same events. It was actually released in cinemas in 2007. Bob is charmingly friendly to his fans which is in stark contrast to his withering contempt and merciless sending up of journalists. In one scene he is standing around with a few spotty teenagers who are clearly overawed to be with their idol. After a little small talk, a long awkward pause is broken by an embarrased fan blurting out, "I dunno wot to say." Bob replies in all sincerity, "Neither do I." If you have never imagjned Bob Dylan in a suit and tie you need to see the scene in this film where he buys himself a new suit coat and gets very enthusiastic about the pink tie he chooses to go with it. (How can Dylan still be the coolest man on the planet 44 years later?)

There are some great musical moments. Unlike Don't Look Back, here you will get full length concert performances of classic songs such as It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) and To Ramona. There are also plenty of interesting moments tinkering around back stage including a piano-based It takes a Lot to Laugh (It Takes a Train to Cry). In one odd moment Bob can only remember the tune to Let Me Die in My Footsteps and cannot for the life of him remember the words, or even the title. It's hard to believe that he recorded this great song only about two years earlier and now it's only a vague memory. I guess it's a testament to just how prolific he was at the time and to his strangely cavalier attitude toward his own material, an attitude that has remaiend within him throughout his career. The film ends with an alternative version of the famous cue cards film clip of Subterranean Homesick Blues, on a rooftop instead of an alley, and with his record producer Tom Wilson standing in for Alan Ginsberg. This is a classic rock documentary not to be missed, but make sure you see Don't Look Back first.

Here's Bob buying that pink tie:

If you liked this entry you might also enjoy some of my other Dylan posts. Dylan in Melbourne 1966, Don't Look Back, Dylan in Melbourne (2007)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:


Share |