Dylan, Albert Grossman, Bob Neuwirth, Joan Baez, Alan Price, Tito Burns,
Donovan, Derold Adams, Chris Ellis, Allan Ginsberg, John Mayall, Howard
Alk, Jones Alk and Marianne Faithfull.
Directed by D.A.
New Video Group. 96 minutes. Not Rated.
Don't Look Back
There are not
nearly enough definitive rock and roll documentaries. Dont Look Back,
which originally came out in 1967, looks at Bob Dylans 1965 tour of
Europe, his last as a pure folk-singer before his infamous "electric"
tour with the Band. Director D.A. Pennebaker (Monterey Pop) was
offered complete access to Dylan at the height of his popularity.
a warts-and-all portrait. You see all the sycophants and hangers-on that
surround the singer. Often Dylan comes off as a self-important bully,
particularly in scenes where he derides a British rock journalist and
then-popular Dylan wanna-be folk singer Donovan. Were not exactly
talking tough targets here. Besides, these people are just trying to do
their jobs and Dylan seems rather mean and spiteful for trying to hold
himself so far above their heads.
Yet musically, he is hard to be
denied. There are scenes like the famous cue-card version of
"Subterranean Homesick Blues" that are still stunning in their pre-MTV
simplicity. This new DVD release has some wonderful extras including
five live audio tracks and a terrific new transfer (though strangely, it
is not in letterbox format). Dont Look Back is a fascinating
look at a flawed man who just happened to be a music God at the time.