Last night was Rock & Roll night for me in Venice as I saw both I'm Not There and Lou Reed's Berlin.
I'm Not ThereChristian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Richard Gere all as personalities of Bob Dylan. Written and Directed by Todd Haynes I'm Not There follows the many lives of Bob Dylan split into 7 different personalities from various points of his life. Does this concept sound strange? You betcha. Is it? You betcha. Absolutely an Art House film. Did I like it? Not at first but it had a weird way of growing on me. So much that I want to see it again. I never really liked Dylan's style but always have had a great affection for several of his songs - especially those covered by other people like Jimmy Hendrix and Eric Clapton. I could never relate to him musically or get a sense of where he was coming from. I'm Not There changed that. The film is filled with images and accounts from various points of his life in the '60s and '70s. Richard Gere plays the recluse Bob Dylan. Christian Bale, the rock star. But the performance to note is Cate Blanchett. Cate not only convinces you she is Bob Dylan in London in the mid '60s, she does the best job at it out of the 7 characters with the look, feel, and mannerisms of Bob. Her performance could garnish her an Oscar. The film repeatedly jumps back and forward in time but is fairly easy to follow as each era has a unique look about it. Dylan's music can be heard throughout. I can't stress enough that if you expecting mainstream cinema, this is not it. But if you are in the mood for a good Art House flick, definitely go see it. It certainly made me a bigger Dylan fan. And the soundtrack will soon grace my iPod.
Lou Reed's BerlinLou Reed's Berlin is a 2006 concert film recorded in Brooklyn over 5 days. Berlin is one of Lou Reed's signature albums. First released in 1973, it was a commercial failure. The album however, has become a cult classic and had never been performed live until Brooklyn. Berlin is ranked as #344 on Rollingstone's top 500 albums of all-time. Its also ranked as one of the top concept albums of the '70s. Berlin is a very dark tragic tail of two junkies in love in the city of Berlin and can be very depressing at times. The film gives the feeling of 1973 with the colors and cinematography used. Inter-mixed with what appears to be home videos, it is easy to think this was filmed in the '70s. Fans of Lou Reed will love this film as it does a great job at capturing the club experience of the first live performance of one of the greatest albums of the '70s. My guess is this film won't have a large theatrical run but will be coming to a DVD near you soon. A must have for any Lou Reed fan. Today is my final day in Venice. I will give you guys a report on the Tim Burton tribute and a wrap=up tomorrow. Until then, -Mastidon
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:07 a.m. CST
of all time. I'll listen to it for catharsis when I'm in a bad mood, but rarely am I in that bad of a mood. "The Kids" is the creepiest damn song ever.
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST
kinda sounds like he's playing both sides of the fence. Knowing Dylan well enough to identify mannerisms, but doesn't own any of his albums?
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST
Mastidon lost credibility early on in this review for mispelling the name of the mighty JIMI Hendrix. Oh... and I can not wait to see I'm Not There. Dylan is legend beyond legend.
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:16 a.m. CST
What, is it going to be placed on her plate at the pre-awards show dinner? Holy Christ the grammar on this site is atrocious. That said, I love Bob, I'm seeing him live for the first time at the Austin City Limits festival next week, and I definitely want to catch this flick.
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:16 a.m. CST
I'm not really sure if they'll be able to pull this one off from start to finish. Face it, the thing kind of reads like crap on paper, although Haynes is definitely the right guy to try and do it. Also, Blanchett looks damn convincing. I guess it's better that we get something like "I'm Not There" rather than giving Dylan a "Walk The Line" or "Ray" treatment.
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST
You're in for a treat man...yeah, his voice is pretty shot at this point, but the guy is still one hell of a performer with one of the tightest backing bands around. Always gracious in his set list selections.
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:42 a.m. CST
to provide or supply with something ornamental; adorn; decorate. <p>Her performance will adorn her with an Oscar.
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:53 a.m. CST
Did the Berlin Wall fall on it and the cat screamed?
Sept. 6, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST
by Sledge Hammer
...an album so downbeat that even Leonard Cohen called it depressing.
Sept. 6, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST
by future help
love both Lou and Bob. im there.
Sept. 6, 2007, 10:31 a.m. CST
by TORTURE PWN1
because they said she was not a good mother- they're taking her children away- Because of the things she did in the streets- In the alleys & bars, no she couldn't be beat- that miserable, rotten slut couldn't turn anyone away"
Sept. 6, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST
by ye olde shiza
I think the word Mastidon was looking for was "garner," as in to earn something. That would make sense with the sentence ... <br><br> I guess you could get creative with the word, but ol' Alan's comments are right. I see "garnish," and I think of a restaurant dressing up my steak.
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:06 a.m. CST
As long as this is not like that last peice of shit Dylan was in. What was the name of that movie again? It had John Goodman in it and it had something to with some country and a president, hell I can't remember but it was not good at all. My question is this, are these people actualy protraying Dylan or just a Dylan like person? Just wondering how autobiographical this would be.
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:09 a.m. CST
Hey, I don't have an editor and I have turned out a dozen reviews in a week - FOR FREE. Would you prefer typos or no review? Hmm. So cut me some slack.
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:17 a.m. CST
You got me. Little sleep and lots of writing = f**kups. Don't know how I made a mistke like that. Well tonight is more music as I am in London to catch the premier of David Gilmour's new DVD. David will answer questions and perform one or two songs. I'll have the review for you tomorrow with pix.
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST
Mastidon must've known that this is a well expected film. He didn't provide insights on Bale, Ledger, Gere, Blanchet, or any of the performances. I'm startin' to think this man is a fake.
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:29 a.m. CST
...I'll go see "I'm Not There" just for Cate's performance. Saw this preview on DVD and couldn't believe it was her (the scene where Dylan meets Alan Ginsberg). Like you, I prefer Dylan's tunes as covered by others and Jimi's take of "All Along the Watchtower" is second to none. Not at all interested in anything about/by Lou Reed however. <p> Heh, since you're getting gigged for your typo's and grammatical sins...shouldn't that be "mastodon"?
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:37 a.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
It's getting into too much of a trend for actors to be awarded for doing good impersonations of twentieth century figures. I don't think that's what acting's all about. That said, I liked the Cate Blanchett clip and I love Bob Dylan (I wish he could still play a decent gig though). Anyway, if Cate gets an Oscar, expect the biopic flood gates to fly open. Obviously, I can't say whether or not she'll deserve one at this point though.
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:40 a.m. CST
by Leopold Scotch
Saw him in Glasgow last year with Richard Wright, then saw Waters and Mason a month later in Hyde Park. Two of the best gigs I've ever seen.
Sept. 6, 2007, 12:01 p.m. CST
with an "i"... I feel I must correct
Sept. 6, 2007, 12:09 p.m. CST
I was bummed because I didn't get tickets to those Brooklyn shows. Lou Reed is a thousand times cooler than Cate Blanchett.
Sept. 6, 2007, 12:28 p.m. CST
since Lou Reed is a thousand times cooler than almost anyone on the planet (David Bowie being an exception). I enjoy Bob Dylan but I'll admit to being a bigger fan of Lou Reed's work. It truly is a great time to be a music fan. Too bad it's an awfully shitty time to be a film fan.
Sept. 6, 2007, 12:55 p.m. CST
That'd be Masked and Anonymous. It was seriously flawed, that's for sure, but so's everything film-related that Dylan's ever touched (Don't Look Back I don't really count, because he didn't have a hand in the production, unlike, say, Eat The Document). <p> </p>Still, like his other opus with an "&" in the middle, Renaldo & Clara, it's worth a look if you set your mind to overlook its rambling structure and underbaked ideas.<p> </p>I guess he should stick to cinematic songs. Still, it'd be fucking awesome if someone made Tweeter & The Monkey Man into a movie. Though I guess it would probably be doomed for having an "&" in the middle of the title.
Sept. 6, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST
nice obscure dylan-film reference, sepp. i did see a boot of this years back and it blew me little mind -- the disorienting editing, goofy set pieces, the greatest performance of "i don't believe you (she acts like we never met)," ever, &c., &c... THAT'S your frickin' dylan art flick, y'all, a hell of alot more than _renaldo & clara_ or mr. haynes work ever will be. been disappointed by haynes since _velvet gldmine_, which should have been so much better. same with the astoundingly overrated _far from heaven_. i know little to nothing about the history surrounding _eat_, and why it's disappeared from view after its appearance on abc in the early 70's. did dylan really have alot to do with its farkatke structure? i just assumed d.a. pennebaker was mainlining speed 'n 'shrooms during the editing stage. discuss...
Sept. 6, 2007, 1:35 p.m. CST
aint first becoming a tad boring?? why not change the challenge to 21st???!!!??!!
Sept. 6, 2007, 1:37 p.m. CST
if you can, what song they are using in the trailer? Love it, and this film looks great!
Sept. 6, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST
"It was seriously flawed, that's for sure, but so's everything film-related that Dylan's ever touched" What about Pat Garett and Billy the Kid? Haven't seen it myself, but come on, it's Peckinpah!
Sept. 6, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST
It's "Like a Rolling Stone." Great song for a road trip. And thanks Mastidon for the review, but I can't help but continue to be skeptical.
Sept. 6, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST
Lennon, where everyone played him, and Times They Are a Changin'. Which was just weird. in a good if misunderstood way. this looks hawt. i'm there.
Sept. 6, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST
Mastidon's a fool for saying he never really like Dylan's style. Stupidest thing I've ever heard anyone say about anybody. Anybody who knows Dylan knows you can't pin him down to a style. Dylan goes beyond such lame terms...
Sept. 6, 2007, 4:11 p.m. CST
Was he any good as Dylan?
Sept. 6, 2007, 4:53 p.m. CST
I just couldn't remember the name of that flick. It's a shame that Dylan related movies havn't done anything but underwhelm ,maybe this will be the exception. I do think he is talented, i'm an Elvis man myself, but I can appreciate Dylan's place in American music history and his contributions to society in general.
Sept. 6, 2007, 5:38 p.m. CST
by Andy Warhol Jr
Which one: for major role or supporting role? Because it seems to me it's neither and both at the same time.
Sept. 6, 2007, 5:44 p.m. CST
by Thomas Cromwell
Just watching a You-Tube video of 'Times they are a-changin' done in 1965. What passion! What poetry! What music! "The line it is drawn and the curse it is cast!" I'm in heaven!!!!!!!!!!
Sept. 6, 2007, 6:05 p.m. CST
LOU REED'S GOTTA EAT!!!
Sept. 6, 2007, 6:32 p.m. CST
From what I heard, Bob really DID Eat The Document. And then he threw it back up again. I think he "edited" most of it. I know for a fact that Pennebaker didn't want the Lennon and Dylan taxi scene in the movie, but Dylan kept it in. Which made sense, because it was amazing seeing the two of them trying to impress each other like little boys.<p> </p>I actually like the random cuts and harshness of the whole thing. I mean, if you want to see him live, well he's always touring, so it shouldn't be too difficult. But if you want to see a trippy, method snap-shot of Dylan in his whacked-out heyday, then you've got Eat the Document!<p> </p>I'm not really sure why he doesn't want the movie released. Maybe the fact that he looks so damn wasted all the time might have something to do with it.<p> </p> <p> </p>Oh, and as far as Lou Reed goes, I'm holding out until he makes a movie explaining the punchline to Metal Machine Music.
Sept. 6, 2007, 6:37 p.m. CST
has got to be where Dylan and Richard Manuel (The Band) go up to some Slavic couple and try to "hire" the girl for half an hour...<p> </p>Hmm, I think I just figured out the REAL reason why Dylan doesn't want this released.
Sept. 6, 2007, 6:40 p.m. CST
Dylan Columbia 30th anniversary tribute has an un-nerving version of Masters of War by Eddie Vedder as well as a bunch of other amazing interpretations.
Sept. 6, 2007, 7:33 p.m. CST
by Han So_low
If you can't relate to Dylan then you haven't heard this song or are one of the Iraq war architects.
Sept. 6, 2007, 8:09 p.m. CST
by Reynard Muldrake
i'm a shepherd
Sept. 6, 2007, 8:58 p.m. CST
...i think the correct word is actually 'garner'....meaning 'to acquire'....I'm such a pendantic motherfucker sometimes...
Sept. 6, 2007, 9:40 p.m. CST
Duh, that one I should have known...
Sept. 6, 2007, 11:53 p.m. CST
by WYLD STALLYNS RULES
Irony is a mysterious fig.
Sept. 7, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST
Cowards, weaklings, BUMS! Men unable to achieve on a level field of play.
Sept. 7, 2007, 5:34 p.m. CST
“I want this drummer dead! I want his family dead! I'm gonna burn his house to the ground! I'm going to go there in the middle of the night and piss on his daughter's ashes!” from The Untouchables