Don't Look BackDirector: D.A. Pennebaker
In 1965, filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker accompanied Bob Dylan to England to make a film about the singer/songwriter's British tour. At the time, no one could have known how fortuitous Pennebaker's timing would prove to be. Within a few months of this tour, Dylan would forsake his role as The Conscience of Folk Music to pick up a Fender Stratocaster and play rock and roll. Within a year, Dylan would suffer a motorcycle accident that would put him out of commission for nearly 18 months. Recording several brilliant solo performances and capturing a wealth of fly-on-the-wall footage of Dylan's interactions with friends and strangers, Pennebaker caught Dylan on the cusp of a radical career change, and the man in this film seems to be thrashing about in his shackles, looking for some sort of escape route.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Warner Bros / Wea
Cast & Crew
|Jones Alk||Sound/Sound Designer|
|James D. Bissell||Production Designer|
|Ed Emshwiller||Camera Operator|
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This film tells the story of Bob Dylan¿s 1965 tour of England. It is a fly on the wall look at the artist and is not very flattering. He is impatient with almost everyone around him and toys with the press during interviews. There is not much concert footage but you sense that Dylan is ready to move on to the electric music he would soon begin to play onstage. Listen to the Live 1966 CD and you will hear the tension between Dylan and his British audience explode. The film is interesting but I doubt I will ever watch it again.
The other reviews of this film don't seem to be very positive. I thought the film justified its reputation. One definitely has a sense of Dylan's genius, and the quality of his spirit. The alleged abrasive quality of his personality is immediately apparent, but if one were to judge fairly he is not as unlikable as the one other reviewer made him out. He was at this time a person of very high intelligence which he wanted to express as much as possible. If he was to achieve that he couldn't flatter everyone he met. He might achieve some brief popularity but what was singular and remarkable in his personality, intelligence and outlook would have been diluted and lost.
This is a wonderful documentary on Dylan during his acoustic tour in 1965. There are some brilliant moments here, some uncomfortable moments here, and some lines that have stuck with me for 40 years. In other words, this is a great documentary. No Dylan fan should be without it. If you don't like it. "give it to Donovan".