Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Chimes of Freedom Flashing

What an unexpectedly delightful documentary PBS has run the last two nights! Scorsese revisiting Bob Dylan's early years. And as a result making us all revisit our early years.

I have had various views over the years of Dylan, as he and I have both changed, and not always in the same directions.

Scorsese's show makes it clear what a brilliant sponge he was - able to absorb the feel of the environment around him, and generate from that art far greater than what those around him did, using a variety of ruthlessness and genius. And how Protean he was - no single style could maintain his interest - he seems to keep reinstalling new versions of himself.

This show takes us roughly to 1966 - the Greenwich Village years are utterly fascinating as seen through the eyes of numerous players around Dylan at the time. It is the sort of documentary I really like to watch, increasing my respect for pretty well everyone who appears in it. Scorsese takes no cheap shots. Most amazingly, I came out of it thinking quite highly of Joan Baez, and she made me laugh a few times. And Dave van Ronk's contribution was very helpful.

So I hope Scorsese is working on the rest of the career. I know I would tune in, though I don't really know much of anything that Dylan has done since the country album (ok, maybe the 'Hurricane' album).

1 Comments:

At 8:00 PM, Blogger rondi said...

My favourite Dylan album is "Planet Waves," which he did with The Band, in, I believe 1970. Full of hokey love songs, which I feel is his strength, though he never gets praise for it.

 

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