(aka 'I'm Not There' or 'I'm Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan')

Directed by Todd Haynes
USA 2007


Kaleidoscopic, grandly tuneful and definitely not your average biopic (perhaps not a biopic at all), Todd Haynes’s Bob Dylan movie is the imaginative feat of the year. An untethered leap into celebrity deconstruction, the film is bound to enrage purists who expect one of those fawning “essential moments” narratives; yes, Dylan does go electric at Newport in 1965, but “he” is actually a she (the perverse Blanchett), and that isn’t a guitar in her grip but a machine gun, strafing the crowd. Still with me?

If there’s a director at work today to trust with your musical legacy—as Dylan has—it’s Haynes, who dives into his pop stars like the journalist from Velvet Goldmine and consistently arrives at the tender truth of self-reinvention. (Were Richard Carpenter to really watch Haynes’s Barbie-doll Superstar, he’d see it as empathetic toward Karen and him both.) Much has already been made of Haynes’s casting of six different actors to play Dylan, each providing a different shade of ego. But the takeaway here is less slippery chameleon than tribute to an artist’s fecundity: If you’re seeking blues credibility, why not see yourself as a wandering black troubadour child (the amazing Marcus Carl Franklin) instead of a Minnesotan Jew?

Still, is any flavor of Dylan particularly relevant? This is the sneaky brilliance of I’m Not There; as its visual fabric shifts from shiny Fellini-esque popscapes to Cambodian bombings and dissembling Presidents, you feel the rush of today’s sick-making sociopolitical climate. Dylan somehow made it through, but at what cost? Essential viewing.

Excerpt from TimeOut Film Guide located HERE


Theatrical Release: September 3rd, 2007 - Venice Film Festival

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DVD Review: Weinstein Company (2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 2:15:12 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English (CC), Spanish, None NOTE: English only for 2nd disc extras

Release Information:
Studio: Weinstein Company

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Todd Haynes
• Song Selection accessibility

• Ability to view film with onscreen lyrics

Disc 2
• Trailer Gallery (3)
From the Edit Room

• Audition Tapes (2)
• Deleted Scenes (2)

• Alternate Extended Scenes (4)

• Outtakes (Gag Reel)

• Tribute to Heath Ledger

A Look Back

• The Red Carpet Premiere (2:40)

• Making the Soundtrack (21:03)

• A Conversation With Todd Haynes (42:30)

• Dylanography (8)

DVD Release Date: May 6th, 2008

Keep Case
Chapters: 34



Just when I thought I had seen all the great films from 2007 - along comes I'm Not There (on DVD) in the mailbox. What a cornucopia mosaic of art, music and influence. This was just too good and I'm not even a Dylan fan (a weakness I hope will not prompt excessive complaints about the following review).

The DVD image looks pristine - intentional cinematographic techniques are easily discernable with occasional tints, graininess (see examples below) and lens distortions. Dual-layered, progressive, anamorphic in the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, the transfer is coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. Colors are bright and true - detail (when infrequently used in close-ups) holds up well and contrast, especially in the black and white sequences, appears defined and adept.  In fact there are no complaints with this transfer at all - even the sparse (by today's standards) 2.0 Dolby Digital audio track supports the music and dialogue very well. I'm certain it could only give a superior presentation in high-definition and even then it might not be an extravagant difference. A wonderful option to access the songs and play the lyrics is included as well as optional English (CC) or Spanish subtitles during the feature. 

The supplements are rife and extended to a second disc. First off, on disc one, we have a commentary from director Haynes. He is always great to listen to and this is no exception - he's laid back - mentions many era influences from 1968's Petulia to Performance (1970) to Fellini's 8 1/2 and any number of other looks and styles that were emphasized in certain sequences incorporating the language of 60's cinema. Haynes is honest (not afraid to swear - 'F*ck', 'P*ssy' etc.) and relates key information about filming specific scenes and the performers reactions to conditions etc. Very much worth listening to especially if you enjoyed the film. He can talk at quite a pace so it may be worth spinning twice to catch it all. One can begin to appreciate the Herculean effort and passion taken in this production.

Disc 2 has a never ending list of shortish tidbits starting with 3 trailers. Under the subheading From the Edit Room we are exposed to 2 auditions tapes (Ben Whishaw and Marcus Carl Franklin), 2 deleted scenes ('Silver Club Bathroom' and 'Mrs. Baker'), 4 alternate/extended scenes, a 4 minute humorous outtakes gag reel and finally a tribute to the late Heath Ledger. A Look Back has 2007's Red Carpet Premiere, a 20 minute featurette; Making the Soundtrack (with input from musicians and Haynes again) and an excellent 40 minute Conversation With Director Haynes taken in various venues and detailing some excellent information. Finally a Dylanography with eight sub-sections.

Great DVD and amazing film - although only 2 back-to-back viewings it may easy eek into my top films from 2007. Haynes is wonderful to take such a big part of the DVD supplements and this is an essential DVD package. Strongly recommended! 

Gary W. Tooze


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Distribution Weinstein Company - Region 1 - NTSC


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