‘I’m Not There’ DVD 25/10/2008

‘I’m Not There’ is a toughie. I felt it was impressive in some ways, not impressive in other ways and I was left, most prominently, with an urge to go and listen to Bob Dylan. If that was the intent, it succeeded in its purpose. I like Dylan, but this film felt like a love letter to the fandom. It’s too esoteric for general consumption. I can forgive this as it’s a deeply idiosyncratic art-house movie, but it frustrated to an extent. For me to truly appreciate and begin to understand the movie I feel like I need to go away for a few months and better study Dylan’s life and work. I can’t be overly critical as my problems stem mostly from my own lack of knowledge, and there is a lot to admire even for only moderate BD fans. The photography is beautiful, each segment having its only distinct appearance and texture. The performances are strong across the board, Cate Blanchett in particular being every bit as bizarre and captivating as I’d heard. The soundtrack is predictably fantastic. I struggled to connect with the attempts to explain Dylan’s proximity and relationship with social and political events, my favourite sections being those that existed as contained music videos for individual tracks.
I would expect to add a star to this review within five years.