Last night was Rock & Roll night for me in Venice as I saw both I'm Not There and Lou Reed's Berlin.
I'm Not ThereChristian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Richard Gere all as personalities of Bob Dylan. Written and Directed by Todd Haynes I'm Not There follows the many lives of Bob Dylan split into 7 different personalities from various points of his life. Does this concept sound strange? You betcha. Is it? You betcha. Absolutely an Art House film. Did I like it? Not at first but it had a weird way of growing on me. So much that I want to see it again. I never really liked Dylan's style but always have had a great affection for several of his songs - especially those covered by other people like Jimmy Hendrix and Eric Clapton. I could never relate to him musically or get a sense of where he was coming from. I'm Not There changed that. The film is filled with images and accounts from various points of his life in the '60s and '70s. Richard Gere plays the recluse Bob Dylan. Christian Bale, the rock star. But the performance to note is Cate Blanchett. Cate not only convinces you she is Bob Dylan in London in the mid '60s, she does the best job at it out of the 7 characters with the look, feel, and mannerisms of Bob. Her performance could garnish her an Oscar. The film repeatedly jumps back and forward in time but is fairly easy to follow as each era has a unique look about it. Dylan's music can be heard throughout. I can't stress enough that if you expecting mainstream cinema, this is not it. But if you are in the mood for a good Art House flick, definitely go see it. It certainly made me a bigger Dylan fan. And the soundtrack will soon grace my iPod.
Lou Reed's BerlinLou Reed's Berlin is a 2006 concert film recorded in Brooklyn over 5 days. Berlin is one of Lou Reed's signature albums. First released in 1973, it was a commercial failure. The album however, has become a cult classic and had never been performed live until Brooklyn. Berlin is ranked as #344 on Rollingstone's top 500 albums of all-time. Its also ranked as one of the top concept albums of the '70s. Berlin is a very dark tragic tail of two junkies in love in the city of Berlin and can be very depressing at times. The film gives the feeling of 1973 with the colors and cinematography used. Inter-mixed with what appears to be home videos, it is easy to think this was filmed in the '70s. Fans of Lou Reed will love this film as it does a great job at capturing the club experience of the first live performance of one of the greatest albums of the '70s. My guess is this film won't have a large theatrical run but will be coming to a DVD near you soon. A must have for any Lou Reed fan. Today is my final day in Venice. I will give you guys a report on the Tim Burton tribute and a wrap=up tomorrow. Until then, -Mastidon