‘I’m Not There’

“I’m Not There” is a story about the life, times, and music of Bob Dylan. Well… kind of. Todd Haynes, the writer and director, made this movie from legend, a little truth, and way too much time listening to Dylan songs. Six characters tell the story of Dylan’s life.

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By Billy Gedney

By Billy Gedney

“I’m Not There” is a story about the life, times, and music of Bob Dylan. Well… kind of. Todd Haynes, the writer and director, made this movie from legend, a little truth, and way too much time listening to Dylan songs.

Six characters tell the story of Dylan’s life. Oh and by the way, none of them are named Bob Dylan, in the cast list or the character list.

Cate Blanchett plays Jude Quinn, the media darling side of Dylan.

Ben Whishaw plays Arthur Rimbaud, who is only shown in an interview throughout the whole movie.

Christian Bale plays Jack Rollins / Pastor John, a musician turned Christian preacher (that part is true).

Richard Gere plays Billy the Kid. Yes, it says Billy the Kid. It was a little weird. Billy the Kid lives in a town called “Riddle.” “Riddle” contains an element from every one of Dylan’s BBC interviews.

During one of these interviews, Quinn is asked why he is a media darling. Quinn is so offended and leaves the interview and the car. If that sounds confusing, thats because it simply is.

Then there are scenes, that are symbolic of Dylan’s life. For example, Gere’s character , Billy the Kid, is symbolic of Dylan’s actin career.

As you watch the movie, you notice how well the production crew did matching the feel of the movie (the color correction, the set, the environment) to each individual character. Blanchett’s character is viewed in sharp black and white. Gere’s character is shown in a faded, woody light with dark textures.

I was excited to see this movie. Before going to the theater I was hoping to see it released nationwide, but after seeing it, I completely understand why it will not.

Understanding the story really requires solid and extensive knowledge of Dylan.

This isn’t a movie you go see to learn about Dylan, which I hoped it would be. This is a movie where prior knowledge of Dylan (his life and career) is taken and twisted into a different perspective.

Overall, “I’m Not There” had a lot going for it, I liked everything about it with the exception of the story. I just wished it was more informative.

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