Dont Look Back

Director: D. A. Pennebaker
Year Released: 1967
Rating: 3.0

Black and white, (appropriately) gritty, cinema-verité style documentary of Bob Dylan's tour in England, his gigs, what he does in his spare time, and the people he associates with. Dylan himself comes across as being self-centered and sarcastic, tired of fielding repetitious questions from the press about "what the message is" and whether or not his fans "understand" what he's doing. I was constantly under the impression that Dylan was the anti-Beatles - that he could care less whether people figured out his poetic, cerebral folk melodies. Pennebaker's portrait is close and personal, and he tends to put a lot of emphasis on how banal a lot of the touring life is (a lot of shots are of Dylan pacing around, staring out windows, not listening to questions or conversations as much as paying attention to his own thoughts and responding inconclusively to everyone else). Unfortunately, the emphasis on sitting around or walking around takes up space where some of the concert footage should have been - for example, the only time in the movie in which Dylan seems genuinely wistful and pleased is after his performance at the Albert Hall, which he admits "something happened there." Must I break out the CDs? Positive complaint: it should have been longer.