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“Part One” of “No direction home” goes from the late 1950´s to 1963, and deals with the place where Dylan grew, and the kind of music he liked. I found this specially interesting, as I hadn´t heard of Woody Guthrie, Tommy Makem, and others that had an enormous influence on Dylan. I enjoyed watching and hearing him as he developed as an artist, and changed accordingly.
“Part two” covers the period that goes from 1963 to 1966. It is very good, and has great footage of Dylan´s concerts, like “Part one”. The main difference between the two dvds probably is that the second one lacks the kind of explanation regarding the historical context that the first one has. All the same, it is enjoyable, and only obviously in fault when compared to “Part one”.
This documentary includes lots of footage of the young Dylan and comments made by the “old” Dylan, the person that young and gifted man grew up to be. Not only that, but there are also quite a few interviews of people who knew him at one moment or the other, and that help to shed some light on him. The interviews that involve Joan Baez are probably the most insightful regarding Bob Dylan´s character, and his refusal to be trapped in a role as symbol of the left.
I think that if there is a constant in Dylan´s career, it is probably the fact that he refuses to be pinned down, to be anything other than himself, and that is nothing less and nothing more than what he feels like being at the moment. “No direction home” shows that, and I think we should congratulate Martin Scorsese for that. So... thanks, Martin, but please bear in mind I really, really want to watch the sequel :)
Along with many long term Dylan fans we have suffered unsatisfactory biographies and conflicting interviews from the big Zee himself and finally we're getting some truth from the man himself. It's like we've had over 40 years of one sided information and now we're finally getting a bit of Mr Dylan's point of view.
It doesn't need saying that this is a must for all dedicated Dylan fans but it is also a good introduction for those new to Dylan's classic period. The coverage of Dylan's friends, colleagues and influences from his early years is exceptional.
I especially liked Joan Baez's contributions showing that she has finally come to terms with Bob's refusal to become a campaigner for human rights and civil lieberties. She now shows that she accepts that Bob was not driven in the same way as she and that their separation was in some ways inevitable.
The only negative is that we don't get complete video recordings of the concert footage in the DVD "performance" section. There is clearly a great archive of footage that is still waiting to be released, especially the 1966 tour, and I for one am still waiting for it!
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