“I’m Not There”: A Yorkie Roundtable
Written by Bwog Staff
Several Bwog editors retrieved the passwords of their middle school AIM screen names and entered a chatroom to discuss Todd Haynes’ new Dylan “biopic” I’m Not There. Heath Ledger was taken down a notch, David Cross was lauded, and Yorkie avatars were chosen.
Today’s Yorkie Roundtable features:
So… let’s begin. Who was everyone’s favorite Dylan?
Cate Blanchett followed by Ben Wishaw
Well I’m gonna be the iconoclast here and say Richard Gere
Totally disagree. Couldn’t disagree more.
I hated his whole segment. It was really pretty but so out of place.
It’s a masturbatory reference. It was just a live Dylan song.
It was such a lazy Fellini rip-off
It summed up the whole movie in my mind—exactly because it was awkward, out of place and utterly masturbatory
Wasn’t the spider a Fellini rip-off?
Probably. Or a Spiderman 2 rip-off.
I kind of liked the Richard Gere segment
But it had shitty writing. Like the kind of writing Dylan does when he writes long form
But if you’re trying to make a self-consciously self-indulgent movie that lures Dylan maniacs like myself into a false sense of security…
I think the film wasn’t critical enough of Dylan
Was that the point though?
It could still be critical and objective and still look cool
Dylan is one of those artists that people really obsess about and I think the movie was a study in obsession, in a lot of ways
But critical of what? His politics? His general douchiness?
I have to agree on that actually, it did portray him as that sort of enigmatic legend of folk music
Like the reviewer from NY Press said, it’s more about Todd Haynes that it is about Dylan
Right, so wouldn’t it be cool to present him in a different way, and not just a fawning fan-boy way. Like, wow, he was kind of an asshole to his wife
But how critical of Dylan can you really be? Even his bad traits have been mythologized. Slow Train Coming has even gone down as a half-decent album.
Oh man, I think the 80s is not given enough credit at all
My kids’ll probably be listening to Under the Red Sun, which sucked. Like there’s nothing off of Oh Mercy? C’mon Todd Haynes
Slow Train Coming is great
I’m glad they include the weird shit about his foray into Pentecostal choirs
Yeah, but it wasn’t done right
I mean, he really got into this ridiculous idiom, where if you hear his songs played now, without Dylan, the sound entirely organic to the tradition
This rambly, not making any fucking sense idiom
That Dylan though, didn’t even get a separate actor
Are you actually arguing for more Dylans? There should have been less Dylan. 12 year old Dylan didn’t need to be there
I don’t know, I kind of appreciated 12-year old Dylan
I loved him. That velvet voice…
I feel like the novelty wore off after about 3 seconds
Except the part where Richie Havens was dubbed really poorly
Richie Havens! High point of the movie. Oh wait take that back David Cross as Allen Ginsberg.
Yes David Cross was great
I love the part with him and Cate just going nuts
That was very Renaldo and Clara
The whole movie was very Renaldo and Clara. I thought that the Heath Ledger part went nowhere
In fact, every remotely romantic part was strange
It was worth it for Charlotte Gainsbourg
It was worth it for the brief glimpse of the scornful, Blood on the Tracks-era Dylan. That was another of the film’s strengths/weaknesses: soooooo many references
I read somewhere about a reporter asking Jacob Dyaln if he ever listened to his father and he said every album except for Blood on the Tracks
Christian Bale: friend or enemy?
I’d have to say he was my least favorite
He just seemed like he was doing an SNL-esque impersonation of Dylan the whole time
It was still possible to enjoy it without being a Dylan-connoisseur
But it might leave a viewer confused if he/she didn’t know much about Dylan
That’s only if you get caught up with trying to understand every single reference
The point was that Dylan was really just a figment of our collective, popular imagination
But what is it, other than a sick whirlwind vanity tour through Dylan references?
It seemed like 2 1/2 hours of fan fiction at times, which is extremely masturbatory if the end message is that we’ll project whatever we want onto some abstract “Dylan. Yeah. If the message is that celebrity is what the mob makes of it, then that’s as good as there being no end message. But fuck it, the music was great.