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|Bob Dylan - No Direction Home
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Avg. Customer Rating: (based on 135 reviews)
Sales Rank: 231
Authors: Bob Dylan, Martin Scorsese
Format: Box Set, Color, Full Screen, Ntsc
Language: English (Original Language)
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Number Of Items: 2
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Shipping Weight (lbs): 0.3
Dimensions (in): 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.6
Release Date: September 20, 2005
Theatrical Release Date: July 21, 2005
Availability: Usually ships in 1-2 business days
|Bob Dylan - Don't Look Back
|No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7)
|Born to Run: 30th Anniversary 3-Disc Set
|Chronicles, Volume 1
|Bob Dylan World Tours 1966-1974, Through the Camera of Barry Feinstein
It's virtually impossible to approach No Direction Home without a cluster of fixed ideas. Who doesn't have their own private Dylan? The true excellence of Martin Scorsese's achievement lies in how his documentary shakes us free of our comfortable assumptions. In the process, it plays out on several levels at once, each taking shape as an unfailingly fascinating narrative. There is, of course, the central story of an individual genius staking out his artistic identity. But along with this Bildungsroman come other threads and contexts: most notably, the role of popular culture in postwar America, art's self-reliance versus its social responsibilities, and fans' complicity with the publicity machine in sustaining myths. All of these threads reinforce each other, together weaving the film's intricate texture.
Scorsese's 200-plus-minute focus on Dylan's earliest years allows for a portrayal of unprecedented depth, with multiple angles: a rich composite photo is the result. The main narrative has an epic quality: it moves from Dylan growing up in cold-war Minnesota through Greenwich Village coffeehouses and the Newport Folk Festival, climaxing in the controversial 1966 U.K. tour that crowned a period of unbridled and explosive creativity. In his transition from Robert Allen Zimmerman to Bob Dylan, we observe him concocting his impossible-to-describe, unique combination of the topical with the archaic, like an ancient oracle. Scorsese was able to access previously unseen footage from the Dylan archives, including performances, press conferences, and recording sessions. He also uses interviews with Dylan's friends, ex-friends, and fellow artists, and, intriguingly, with the notoriously reclusive Dylan himself (who looks back to provide glosses on the early years), fusing what could have turned into a tiresome series of digressions and tangents into a powerful whole as enlightening, eccentric, contradictory, and ultimately irreducible as its subject.
Some of the deeply personal bits remain unrevealed, but Dylan's preternatural self-assurance acquires a slightly self-deprecating, even comic edge via some of his reflective comments. Alongside the arrogance, we see touching moments of the young artist's reverence for Woody Guthrie and Johnny Cash. Joan Baez, in a poignant confessional mood, comes off well, and the late Allen Ginsberg is so seraphically charming he almost steals the show a few times. A crucial throughline is Dylan's hunger for recognition and ability to shape perceptions so that would be singled out as not just another dime-a-dozen folk singer. It's illuminating--particularly for those familiar with the artist's latter-day aloofness on stage--to see his reactions to audience booing in the wake of his "betrayal" in this fuller context. No Direction Home also makes clear--in a way that wasn't possible in D.A. Pennebaker's iconic Don't Look Back--how Dylan's ability to manipulate his persona always, at its core, protects the urge for expression: Dylan's ultimate mandate, as an artist, is never to be pinned down. As Scorsese masterfully shows, the myth around Dylan only grows bigger the more we discover about him. --Thomas May
DVD features: This two-disc set of Scorsese's full two-part documentary includes treats such as Dylan working on a song at his hotel during the UK tour as well as performing several songs as in concert or on TV.
More for the Dylanologist
No Direction Home: The Soundtrack
Chronicles: Volume One (paperback edition)
Bob Dylan Scrapbook
Don't Look Back
The Bob Dylan Bootleg Series
The Last Waltz
The two-part film includes never-seen performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan's during that time. For the first time on camera, Dylan talks openly and extensively about this critical period in his career.
Customer Reviews: Read 130 more reviews...
The long road July 11, 2006
1 out of 2 found this review helpful
It is great to see Dylan put into perspective of the folk movement that occurred in the late 50's and early 60's that includes so many great names like Pete Seeger, Liam Clancy, Dave Van Ronk and Arlo Guthrie. Whereas Scorsese built the story of The Band around The Last Waltz concert, here he takes his time, exploring the ins and outs of Dylan's storied early years, showing how this kid from Minnesota exploded onto the folk music scene, able to absorb and assimilate both the music and the social events of the time. Seeger quickly picked up on this young talent, who like Dylan's obvious musical and social reference, Woody Guthrie, was able to capture the mood of the time. Scorsese intersperses the documentary with a number of amusing anecdotes, the best delivered by Liam Clancy. Concert footage is edited, but then there are a number of concert DVD's available of Bob through the years. You won't be disappointed.
One of the best looks at Bob Dylan's career.... July 11, 2006
3 out of 3 found this review helpful
I am always a fan of Martin Scorcese films, he manages to bring a new style to each and everyone he does, and "No Direction Home" is another instant hit. The movie focusses on Dylan's life itself, not just his music career. It shows a lot of interviews with different people who knew Bob Dylan or just knew his music. I was captivated with how the movie managed to just flow freely and was surprised when it ended because if seemed like it had only just begun. This is one film you should definately see.
The film focusses on Bob Dylan's childhood; from growing up in a town in Minnesota, and how he managed to start singing and playing music in small coffe houses and even festivals. What was great about this film is all the new footage that was aired in it. We see still photography shots of Dylan as a young man, playing with a guitar or his harmonica in front of a crowd of people. There is old footage of concerts, interviews, and press conferences that many people probably wouldn't have seen back then, or even now.
Interviews include people such as; Izzy Young, Paul Nelson, Al Kooper, Allen Ginsberg, and many others. But probably the greatest interviewee of them all is Bob Dylan himself. He talks about everything! Growing up, his first musical performance, he even talks about other great musical artists, my favorite of them being Johnny Cash. Some great footage in this film.
Bob Dylan Performances:
No Direction Home
Blowin' in the Wind
Mr. Tambourine Man
Man of Constant Sorrow
Girl of the North Country
Love Minus Zero/No Limit
One Too Many Mornings
This is one fantastic look at Bob Dylan. If you are any sort of fan of him or his music, watch this DVD and you will not be disappointed!
You must buy this! June 1, 2006
6 out of 43 found this review helpful
Why would anyone want to make a documentary about a Jewish guy who hasn't got a note in his head and who was looking for answers in the wind? Ask Martin Scorcese...!!
This movie starts off with a live version of "Like A Rolling Stone" that is nothing short of an ear-ache!...and it all goes downhill from there! Dylan is no more a genius than Hendrix was. Why listen to Hendrix and Dylan when you can listen to the profundity of The Monkees? Martin Scorcese is better known for his gangster pictures so he put a photo of Dylan wearing mafioso shades on the front of this dvd but that wont fool people and help sales because despite popular rumour, this ISN'T a gangster flick starring "Zimmy".
Dylan's songs were always done better by Peter, Paul and Mary, Abraham, Martin and John and The Byrds anyway... even Elvis. As a matter of fact, Dylan , himself, said that the Elvis "cover" was his "most treasured". Elvis covered Dylan's "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" and it was a bonus track on his "Spinout" soundtrack album...so you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out that Dylan owns soundtracks to Elvis movies, which kinda tells you where his head is at. Don't think twice... it's alright, Bob! We all have our guilty pleasures! MINE is sitting on an air-hose!
I watched this dvd and was thoroughly bored... and when I was listening to The Travelling Wilberforce, I realized that without Tim Petty, George Harrassment, Jeff Lynch and Buff Orpington, Dylan would have sounded like the nasally, out-of-tune hack that he is.
That is why you must buy this dvd...because it will save you the fortune you spend on sleeping aids...and waken you to the true genius of our times... Donovan Leitch. This wimpy Scotsman sung about Atlantis and we all listened. Who listens to Dylan? Dylan wanted to be Bobby Vee but he didn't have the talent... I mean, can you imagine Dylan trying to sing "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" or "Rubber Ball" with a Scottish accent? So to mask his frustration at not making it as a teen idol, Dylan sought to confuse the masses by writing weird lyrics and being angry... but what he was REALLY angry about was the fact that he didn't record "Like a Tiger" before Fabian did.
So this is about 3 and a half hours of early Dylan and his major influence Woody Guthrie who, himself, wanted to be like Trini Lopez... but he didn't have the common sense to put a go-go beat behind "This Land is Your Land" so he got absolutely nowhere. And writing "This machine kills facists" all over one's guitar to attract attention isn't going to impress anybody, ... he should have written something worthwhile like "They serve better subs at Quinzo's" and then we'd KNOW we are getting somewhere. Make a statement that MEANS something, Woody.. and make more movies like "Bananas" and "Take the Money and Run" instead of going on with all that "steel rails hummin'" Oklahoma Hills stuff.
Outstanding May 14, 2006
4 out of 5 found this review helpful
This may be the best documentary about the legendary Bob Dylan narrated by him and those who knew him. From his fateful journey in search of Woody Guthrie to his rise to stardom to his fall from his fans' graces, this film is a non-stop joy ride into what the 1960's was for Bob Dylan. I have always felt that Martin Scorsese was brilliant with his use of music in his films, and this film is no different. Not only does it include many Dylan songs and performances, it is also packed with performances by many of Dylan's friends and influences including Joan Baez, Woodie Guthrie, Rhetta, Pete Seagar, Peter Paul and Mary, and any number of other figures. In short this film is fantastic from start to finish.
Visionary May 2, 2006
10 out of 10 found this review helpful
What an amazing dvd, not because it's by Scorcese or because it's too long but because Bob Dylan has portrayed himself loosely and this documentary defines him loosely definitively. In other words - Bob Dylan doesn't come across as shifty or uninterprettable as he has in other interviews - he comes across as uncomfortable because - he IS uncomfortable. This dvd unleashes the opinions from people who understand from a personal level the evolution of his art from its infancy. He always struck me as the consummate, unconventional artist but not as an outcast. He was just three steps ahead of everyone else and this dvd shows that vintage, visionary side of him. Even though the dvd isn't complete and we can be sure to see a volume 2 3 4 5 .... it does cleanly show his legendary awkwardness from his lack of understanding why noone understood him.
Artists' sometimes get the attention their art deserves early in the art's infancy but not always. A visionary's art like Bob Dylan's art may not be appreciated contemporaniously - it is for the ages, like a sonnet by Shakespeare - it will have life long past the expiration date of the paper it's written on and this dvd has precious insight into how Bob Dylan shaped his journey to get there. If you have an interest in how culture becomes iconic, see this dvd at least once.