I'm Not There

I'm Not There

DVD - 2008
Average Rating:
15
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"Inspired by the life and songs of Bob Dylan, I'm Not There is 'a profoundly personal and passionate film'(A.O. Scott, The New York Times) that captures the essence of this elusive genius. Six different actors - including Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Richard Gere and Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett in a 'soon-to-be-legendary performance' (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) - each embody part of the Dylan legend: from Greenwich Village folk singer to electric guitar trailblazer to born-again preacher. Directed by Academy Award nominated writer/director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven), I'm Not There is 'unquestionably the year's most original American movie' (Thelma Adams, US Weekly)."--Container.
Publisher: Montréal : distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films, c2008.
Edition: 2-disc collector's ed.
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (135 min.) : 5.1 Dolby digital sd., col. with b&w sequences ; 4 3/4 in.

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FredZedd_0
May 24, 2017

If you don't know Bob Dylan's history as a performer and icon, I would suggest that you first watch Martin Scorsese's "No Direction Home", and then watch D. A. Pennebaker's "Don't Look Back". The first is a terrific summary of Mr. Dylan's career and his influence on music created from the 60's onward. The second is a groundbreaking documentary which "I'm Not There" frequently references. While these films may not make "sense" of this film, you will appreciate the performances much better. And you'll learn why Mr. Dylan has received so many awards, including a Nobel.

b
bakerdh
Nov 11, 2016

This movie I watched the same week Dylan was announced as the Nobel Winner. By looking at the cast and premise I become excited as to how it was going to work. About half an hour into the movie I realized the ambition would supercede what was trying to be said. Don't get me wrong I love art film and different kinds of storytelling, but the method cannot be the focal point of any story. Haynes, in my opinion, became preoccupied with cinematic style even to the choice of film stock that it gets lost in the mayhem of keeping the style upheld while sacrificing story. Ultimately Bob Dylan becomes secondary. Richard Gere and Heath Ledger are pointless and Blanchett tries her best, but cannot pull it off.

l
lauramarsch
Jan 03, 2015

I liked this movie, even though it is NOT a straightforward biography. Note that before watching this movie. Cate Blanchett was awesome but it does take a moment to get over that it IS Cate Blanchett playing a male

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Nursebob
Dec 12, 2014

I’m not Bob Dylan’s biggest fan, in fact I know next to nothing about the man although I do appreciate some of his music. After watching Todd Haynes’ kaleidoscopic jigsaw puzzle of a biopic however I was left with a whole slew of conflicting impressions. Rather than present a straight-up storyline with the usual humble beginnings and problem-riddled rise to fame, Haynes chooses instead to pass Dylan through a cinematic prism without any attempt to separate the man from the myth. What emerges are six distinct personae (none of whom are named Bob Dylan), played by six seasoned actors ranging from Heath Ledger to Cate Blanchett, each portraying a different aspect of the singer/songwriter. Reluctant folk icon, despised pariah, enigmatic auteur, recluse, activist….here he’s a black child riding the rails, here he’s a jaded rock star philosophizing in the back of his limo, now he’s a frontier outlaw taking a stand against corporate bullies, and now he’s a cocky anti-hero facing a panel of dour interrogators… It’s a testament to Haynes’ enormous talent that he manages to weave his separate stories in and out of each other, going back and forth through time, while simultaneously mimicking a host of directing styles including Fellini and Godard. This is the cutting edge of experimental filmmaking which successfully treads that fine line between coherent art and arty subjectivism. It’s a shifting montage of words and snippets, tied solidly together by Dylan’s music, which presents you with an idea of Dylan, rather like an abstract sculpture which changes perspective as you walk around it. I didn’t get any of the in-jokes or biographical allusions, nor did I walk away able to spout facts and figures, but as a theatrical experience it was well worth it. I just wish Haynes had cut it down to a more sustainable running time.

c
cluhowy
Jul 15, 2014

Here is my take on this move (I’m Not (T)Here):
I became an avid fan of Bob Dylan (aka Robert Allen Zimmerman) during my high school years (1969 – 1974) simply because I was exposed to his music constantly; listening to his records as well as my sibling’s slide guitar, harmonica and blues when he wasn't listening to Dylan albums. Dylan was born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota. The most significant early influence on his music was from his idol, activist and folk singer, Woody Guthrie. Woody’s acolyte was Ramblin’ Jack Elliott…Jack being one of the pseudonyms for Dylan in this movie. He was also influenced by the great black blues masters (Sun House, John Lee Hooker, BB King, etc.) from southern USA. His musical style and messages reflect these influences. The movie illustrates these themes by representing Dylan as a 10 yr. old black musician who befriends hobos on freight trains as well as other characterizations throughout the film. The characters portray Dylan at various stages during his musical journey. His songs, filled with the exposure of racism, corruption, the futility and meaningless of war (The Lonesome Tale of Hattie Carroll, etc.) were as truthful as his raspy, non-prettified voice, which the public quickly acknowledged and embraced. The songs reflect Jung’s Collective Unconscious, however Dylan refused to be categorized and labelled as an activist/folk singer appointed by the media to give voice to the ills in society. He has constantly evolved, never remaining musically stagnant, reflecting his life experiences and the evolution of his musical journey (which continues to evolve, change and refine as we speak). This film symbolizes the legend created by Robert Allen Zimmerman and pays tribute to his monumental impact on musicians as well as the world in which he lives. Don’t bother to look for him, cause he’s not (t)here; he demonstrates his mysterious essence, intangible, just beyond our grasp…like a wisp of vapour. This is in my humble opinion...a 5+ star movie in every possible way.

j
JeanieG
Oct 24, 2013

Even though I know a lot about Bob Dylan and his life this was very difficult to follow at times. I did not realize until after I had watched the whole movie that the character played by Heath Ledger was suppose to be an actor playing Jack Collins (Bob Dylan) in a film and coincidentally this actor's personal life mimicked Bob Dylan's. I will say that it was a very engaging movie. Cate Blanchette was great amazing incredible! Not sure how Richard Gere ended up being cast.

rcorbey Dec 27, 2012

Well put together and acted. However one must be a solid Dylan fan to enjoy this film.

xaipe Sep 26, 2012

Six actors portray six aspects of the Dylan persona stitched together in a freewheeling palimpsest of images and tall tales. Watching this movie is like watching the play in a pinball machine. Dylan remains essentially inaccessible and the enigmatic lyrics of "Rolling Stone" kept running through my mind as I watched this trip back to the good old acid-dropping days.

captaingeb Aug 22, 2012

Awesome photography. Superb cast. Genius acting. Great soundtrack. Clever sets reflecting Dylan tracks. Just does not come together as the complete and compelling film it should be! Best described as a brave experiment.

stembridge Mar 30, 2012

Unbearable

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