Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Bob Dylan: I'm Not There

I'm going to break with my own self-imposed convention and make a post about a movie rather than a song. It is however, a movie named after a song, so that's enough for me. In my opinion I'm Not There is a great film. Admittedly I'm a huge fan of Dylan (increasingly so as I get older) and I know a bit about his 'story' but what gets me about this film, is that it doesn't really matter what happens with the plot, the sheer magnificence and breadth and depth of the songs carry it along, relentlessly. When I got lost or confused with Billy the Kid, I just closed my eyes and listened!

After reading reviews I was expecting the movie to be too bizarre to really 'enjoy'. Perhaps it was that expectation that made the film so enjoyable in the end when I did kind of 'get it'. And everyone was right about how brilliant Cate Blanchett was -it will be a travesty if she doesn't get an Oscar for her performance.

The film's idea that Dylan's many personas elevate him to some kind of 'spiritual' or transcendant place above us mere humans certainly has some truth. There is defintely some 'god-like' quality about him or prophet at the very least. It's just impossible to pin him down or work him out. This is the very rediscovery many Christians are making about God himself. Just when you think you have him in your grasp you realise he's 'not there' at all - he's moved on somewhere else and it's time to follow. Don't get me wrong about Dylan - he's certainly not God - but then again when I hear the music I reckon he's closer than the rest of us!

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