Always carry a lightbulb
Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back review
19th September 2009
I was never a fan of Bob Dylan's. That doesn't mean I didn't like him, I just hadn't given him the time of day. I've liked some songs of his but never delved into the 'full experience'. I watched this film for my course on documentary filmmaking, but now I feel compelled to get to know Dylan better. The film paints a picture of a staunch individualist and poet who's beleaguered by the realities of being a popular musician. Journalists hound him and then misrepresent him in the papers, and fans chase his taxi down the street. While you rarely see him angry, he is obviously an impulsive man who is quick to fire back at people he feels are attacking him and his lifestyle. When he's with his friends, the whole film relaxes, and there's music at every turn. Pennebaker and his crew have obviously been hard at work during the filming, as you get more than just the 'following the musician around' type of rockumentary. There are journalists phoning their articles in, fans waiting outside his hotel to catch a glimpse of their favourite folk/pop/neither singer, and technical problems at concerts. Whether they're just very fortuitous in their timing or very enterprising in making things happen is unclear, but it all plays out in a compelling narrative with its heroes and villains (Look out for Donovan!). A very enjoyable film about a constantly misrepresented poet who's always 'busy being born'. Highly recommended.