Allow me now to comment on a movie two months late. I went in thinking I was gonna love it. I am a huge Bob Dylan fan. There was no doubt I’m Not There would end up in my DVD collection. But I wasn’t blown away. Disappointed even. It was fun, Cate Blanchett was awesome, the music was fuckin’ great, but it just felt disjointed. It felt devoid of any center. Like a child’s version of a Pollack painting, my son’s splattered dresser.
But, then afterwards, a few days later, something clicked. Now I think about I’m Not There all the time. And I think about Dylan in a whole new way. We all have a life, but we are different people throughout. And that’s okay. Dylan makes it ok. Dylan makes the changes in me seem minor. Always performing, he took it to an extreme, and created many worlds for himself. Who know’s what’s real (who cares). It all has value and purpose. Each of us lived and died. I am not the person I was ten years ago (ten minutes ago?).
I point you again to two radio interviews. Both of Todd Haynes, one from Terry Gross at Fresh Air (who’s ugly face lived at the top of this blog for too many months as I avoided writing) the other from Kurt Anderson on Studio 360. Both hit on what I’m talking about here, and what the film delivered. It’s okay to change. It’s okay to be a different person than who you were. In fact it’s what make life livable. So accept the you have changed and quit living in regret.
A note on the soundtrack: It’s great. The Ramblin’ Jack Elliot version of Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues is a masterpiece in understated distance; Tweedy acts like Dylan and changes a bunch of lyrics (and makes it work) on Simple Twist of Fate, and you’ve gotta hear this Antony & the Johnsons knockin, the aching drips like spilled honey.