Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Bob Dylan: American Master

Here's an update on the Martin Scrocese film about Bob Dylan for PBS (it's from the Witchita Eagle):

For an artist who for so long cultivated mystery as part of his poetic persona and sidestepped straight answers in the few interviews he gave, like the "song and dance man" he purported to be, it's now time to set the record straight for Bob Dylan.

Following his critically lauded and briskly selling autobiography "Chronicles, Vol. 1," Dylan has opened up his considerable vaults of little-seen road films, performance videos and home movies -- as well as a freewheeling 10-hour interview with his manager -- for a two-part "American Masters" this summer, directed by no less than Martin Scorsese.

..."I'd like to create the story -- to find the story, first of all -- and then play it out the way I think it's right," Scorsese told reporters at the TV Critics Association winter press tour in Los Angeles in January. "I'm looking out for clarity. I'm looking out for the understanding of how mercurially an artist like this develops. And in a way, it's better I don't speak (with Dylan). It's better I just deal with the material.

"I feel the freedom that way, in making it that way, but I want to bring something that I can to it without being influenced in any way," said Scorsese, who has been nominated for an Academy Award as best director for "The Aviator."

...A short clip shows some extraordinary performances -- a marvelous piece of film from a Newport Folk Festival workshop stage, playing around on Dylan's 1965 tour, and putting on reporters at any number of news conferences.
Scorcese wanted to show Dylan's trip to Vermont when he discussed farm life and maple sugaring with some lesbians, but that has been cut.

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