BOB DYLAN > Don’t Look Back – ’65 Tour Deluxe Edition

D.A. Pennebaker’s groundbreaking film of Dylan’s 1965 solo, unplugged British tour is often cited as the first rock-era documentary. It’s certainly one of the best; a grainy, black and white, handheld capsule of an artist at a pivotal time in his career, coming to grips with fame, meeting fans, sparring with the U.K. press and creating the Dylan persona (shades, cigarettes, tight black sport coat) of that era. 

Label: Docu Rama
[Rating: 5 stars]

D.A. Pennebaker’s groundbreaking film of Dylan’s 1965 solo, unplugged British tour is often cited as the first rock-era documentary. It’s certainly one of the best; a grainy, black and white, handheld capsule of an artist at a pivotal time in his career, coming to grips with fame, meeting fans, sparring with the U.K. press and creating the Dylan persona (shades, cigarettes, tight black sport coat) of that era. The title-extracted from the lyrics of Bringing It All Back Home’s “She Belongs to Me”-perfectly summarizes Dylan’s forward thinking attitude, as he was about to shift away from folk and towards rock. It’s a stunning, landmark work and it has just been improved. This newly remastered edition celebrates the 40th anniversary of the film’s 1967 release by adding an hour long set of outtakes, scraps and leftovers, many-especially the live footage-as fascinating as what appeared in the finished version. Also included are two books, one of which is a 168 page “companion book.” The movie serves as proof that all you need is an intelligent director and a compelling subject to create a dynamic document of an artist at work. Despite, or maybe because of, its rudimentary, jerky and occasionally jagged style, the project stands the test of time. It remains required and mesmerizing viewing, not just for any Dylan fan, but also for any devotee of American songwriting. 

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