“I’m Not There”: A Yorkie Roundtable

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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:

Armin Rosen 

Andrew Flynn 

  Maryam Parhizkar

Lucy Tang 

  Juli Weiner

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.

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  1. Anonymous  


  2. silly  

    I like how you have to clarify that you dug up your AIM screen names from middle school. Because obviously, once you're an intellectual Bwogger, it becomes totally uncool to use AIM, and God forbid you actually admit to using it!

  3. jeez  

    every time Bwog staff jerks off to its own conversation, God kills a kitten.

  4. do you guys  

    think this is ok because of that sad n+1 pamphlet? read a fucking book.

  5. ms. parhizakar:  

    i think your puppy icon might actually be a west highland terrier. i think this because this morning, when i woke up, i for some reason had the impulse to search for west highland terriers in google image.

    damn they's cute.

  6. Lucy  

    1. My avatar is a dead yorkie.
    2. Just to bring the pretension down a few notches, one quote that got censored, "my favorite Wallflowers (Jakob Dylan) album is Bringing Down the Horse."

  7. beh

    this is like one of gawker's cross-promotional AIM chats with julia alison.

  8. Actually  

    Now that I think about it, it's roughly the same thing as having a blog post featuring only comments from editors in the first place.

  9. Anonymous  

    Geez, calm down everyone.

  10. DHI  

    I still gotta see this movie.

  11. I regret  

    having read this.

  12. Anonymous  

    Editors should never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be heard from in this way. If you thought this post would go over well, you were drunk or making a terrible decision.

  13. where  

    was DHI in this....isn't he, like, the dylan expert on bwog?

  14. Bwog  

    Is funny when it tries to do things gawker-esque things (I guess instant message conversations can be seen anywhere, but I just wanted to say gawker-esque).

    Now...where's OUR lolcait?!

  15. andre flynn

    is the best. yorkie the candy bar, absolutely brilliant. i don't really understand anything else of this post, but that in itself makes it laudable.

  16. brneyedgurlxoxo  

    what's the point of using old middle school aim screen names if you don't print them?

  17. ...  

    I am a fan of bwog and I read it all the time but I have to say that this was a phenomenally stupid post.

  18. DHI  

    Also, Rosen, are you saying Slow Train Coming was a bad album? If so, there's a slow train coming for you.

  19. DHI  

    I'm with Flynn on the 80s. Not only are there more solid albums than people realize, the fucking outtakes from that period are great. Blind Willie McTell?

  20. sigh  

    I look forward to Bwog when I'm not paying attention in classes, but when my horrible music hum section is more interesting than the post, it crushes my soul. this is one of those instances. thanks bwog, for making me pay attention in class for once.

  21. JNW:  

    We saw the Fellini film last Tuesday. It was not one of his best. It lacks a cohesive structure. You know, you get the feeling that he's not absolutely sure what it is he wants to say. 'Course, I've always felt he was essentially a - a technical film maker. Granted, La Strada was a great film. Great in its use of negative imagery more than anything else. But that simple, cohesive core...

    Stick to ZIPCAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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