Monday, November 26, 2007

Sometimes Art Just Ain't Enough

Todd Haynes is an artist in the same vein as fellow filmmaker Gregg Araki – but at least Gregg Araki doesn’t pretend his work is accessible. When it is, like “Mysterious Skin,” it’s accidental, the result of a great script. No one will ever accuse Haynes of anything other than mediocre screenwriting, which is why his characters in “I’m Not There” often come across as two-dimensional gimmicks. Film is a medium of the masses, something understood by European directors like Fellini whose hallucinatory pageantry was always grounded in phenomenal – accessible – storytelling.

With that in mind, check out my review of Haynes’ latest, the Bob Dylan tribute “I’m Not There” at:

1 comment:

Mark said...

thank you for this review. i am a film buff and Dylan fanatic and was ridiculously excited for this film, reading dozens of reviews leading up to it. but you nailed it for me.

at first, i thought the movie left me cold because maybe i was TOO much of a Dylan fan and secretly wanted a biopic. maybe. but i was struggling for how to explain to people who loved it why i was physically uncomfortable for almost the entire film.

without going on too much, your review summed up my scattered thoughts exactly. the only times i wasn't squirming in my seat was during the Heath Ledger portions of the film, probably because they felt like a completely different film about someone else. in retrospect, i would have actually rather seen that film.

i'll just say that the Christian Bale portions actually made me somehow embarrassed for Bob Dylan. it felt a bit like "The Rutles". Blanchett gave a fine performance, as always, and the 8 1/2 juxtaposition was an excellent idea.

however, I couldnt help but think that nothing on the screen in her segments had any of the power, the social/cultural importance, or the basic poignancy of the documentary or real-life scenes we've seen in Dont Look Back, Newport Folk, and No Direction Home.

but maybe thats just a super fan talking. is it safe to say that this die-hard Dylan film was not made for die-hard Dylan fans?

thanks again!