I'm Not There

I'm Not There ★★★½

A viewing inspired by visiting THIS mural in the state of Dylan’s birth— the home state that Dylan ironically spent his early life desperately trying to escape. 

This was a trip! I’m not sure if it totally worked structurally speaking, but was still very much on board with the vision Haynes is bringing. I loved Haynes’ Citizen Kane take on Bowie era glam and his Barbie doll version of the Carpenters story. This was a similarly trailblazing music biopic in its form and and execution. From the earliest age, Dylan was always trying to be someone else (apparently starting as a black boy from the south.).

Much like that Minneapolis mural, Haynes recognizes how Dylan’s style was constantly changing with the times to suit his separate personalities. But as time went on and he created these separate personalities for himself, Haynes shows him slipping back and forth in them as time goes on— very much like Dylan’s stream of consciousness songwriting. Not all of these personalities or deviations worked, but when they hit they hit! (I could watch Cate Blanchett’s Kafkaesque Dylan going electric for a lifetime...).

I find analyzing Identity in pop music fascinating. I’ve been getting into St. Vincent’s latest album and she’s just another artist in a long line that changes themselves to cater to their music and message. EVERYONE is trying to be someone else. To be different. To be larger than life. Haynes understands this. I’m not sure the insanity seen here is the best, most coherent representation of Dylan possible, but it definitely finds his essence and the essence of how icons function in pop culture.

added to: Haynes Ranked

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