In 1975 Bob Dylan decides to get his gang together to tour small clubs and venues around the country. This is Martin Scorsese’s film of those days — some of it is outstanding, some is a bit weird. First of all, there are some remarkable performances: the rendition of Hurricane is incredible, as is much of the, at the time yet-to-be-released, Desire album. Seeing Dylan perform in these raw little clubs is worth the view in itself.
What really stands out is the portrayal of the time, and how un-prepackaged things were. There is a visceral portrayal of a time that was decidedly non-corporate. The clothes, the cars, the language used, it’s all quite remarkable and wonderful. How much freer everything was then, the range of what was acceptable to wear and what an actual bohemian was. Yes, it’s a nostalgia fest, and a guilty pleasure to those of us who were alive then.
A Pinch of Fiction
Man vs Star
In some of the film’s best moments we hear Joan Baez, Dylan’s not-so-well-treated ex-girlfriend, share a bit about what it’s really like to be around Bob. Hint: you don’t really want to be too close to him. Overall, it is really the women who shine here. They are the ones speaking truth to the myth of Dylan, whereas the men seem caught in a headlights of Dylan’s star power.