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I'm Not There [DVD]

Christain Bale , Cate Blanchett    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

I'm Not There [DVD] + No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] + Bob Dylan: Don't Look Back [DVD] [2007]
Price For All Three: 33.47

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Product details

  • Actors: Christain Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger
  • Format: PAL, Dolby, Digital Sound, Anamorphic, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 14 July 2008
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00147AJ8G
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,869 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Unapologetically audacious, I'm Not There is more post-modern puzzle than by-the-numbers biopic. A title card sets the scene: "Inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan." Yet the film features no figure by that name. Instead, writer/director Todd Haynes presents six characters, each incarnating different stages in the artist's career. Perfume's Ben Whishaw, a black-clad poet, serves as a slippery sort of narrator. The action begins with the wanderings of an 11-year-old black runaway named "Woody Guthrie" (Marcus Carl Franklin)--his raucous duet with Richie Havens on "Tombstone Blues" is a highlight--and ends with a silver-haired Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) watching the Old West die before his eyes. In the interim, there's the folk singer-turned-preacher (Christian Bale), the actor (Heath Ledger), and the rock star (Cate Blanchett, who has Don't Look Back Dylan down to a science). The chronology is purposefully non-linear, and editor Jay ! Rabinowitz cuts rapidly, Jean-Luc Godard-style, between cinéma vérité black-and-white and saturated colour, Richard Lester-like slapstick and Fellini-inspired surrealism (Ed Lachman served as cinematographer).

What makes the picture fun for Dylan fans--and potentially frustrating for neophytes--is that every album and movie bears an alternate title. Ledger's Robbie, for instance, stars in "Grain of Sand," actually a reference to the Pete Seeger song. As in Haynes' glam rock reverie Velvet Goldmine, the trickery involves the entire cast. While Julianne Moore plays former lover Alice, a dead ringer for Joan Baez, Michelle Williams embodies elusive scenester Coco, i.e. Edie Sedgwick. If I'm Not There is less affecting than Control, the year's other big music film, it rewards repeat viewings like few biographical features. The soundtrack mixes originals with covers, like Jim James's heartfelt "Goin' to Acapulco." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, where seven characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars He Isn't. Are We? 3 Feb 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
This film was much better than I thought it'd be. I had a vision of against-the-light moody, dingy talking heads, each trying to be/sing Dylan.

To me, Dylan is one of those influential enigmas, who hasn't touched me. I don't particularly want him to, either; it annoys slightly how some people get so infatuated with any one artist, likening them to some type of god. Spelt with a small g. I have to admire, however, his poetry and enormous contribution to contemporary music.

It's common knowledge that the music biopic is tired and retreads a set formula, one which generally works, though. But this means that the strength of the subject either makes or breaks it, which in some ways could be a good thing as it proves the fondness/credibility/portrayal of the artist. Trying to find an alternative approach is both brave and interesting and to my mind this film works very well.

It was always going to be a contentious and potentially troublesome project. Different actors, in skin colour, age, sex even, looks disastrous on paper. Apart from my complete failure to grasp Richard Gere's role, to the point where I found it easier to switch my mind off, it was engaging, interesting and absorbing. You could even not have known who Dylan was and simply enjoyed the 'life-story'.

Much has been said of Cate Blanchet's portrayal of the speed-addicted Dylan, which she was Oscar nominated for. Regardless of the novelty of her being a woman playing a man, it is the swinging 60's London monochrome mood, stylised, chic and impeccably conceived and acted, that does it for me. The smooth BBC type heckling from the TV presenter with its nagging 'society' views was akin to one long personal headache for Dylan and opposition from authority in general.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six other sides of Dylan, one great Haynes film! 27 Feb 2008
Todd Haynes' I'm Not There is a hugely exciting and incredibly beautiful film. It gives a sweeping view not just of Dylan's music, but also of his times from the 1950s to the 1980s. It is also the first time that Dylan has licensed his entire back catalogue to be used in a film.
Deservedly the film received a special Jury prize and a best actress award for Cate Blanchett at the 2007 Venice Film Festival.
Dylan is played by six different actors, playing six abstractions of his personality. Each of these abstractions inhabit a cinematic world of their own, the associations stretching from Fellini's 8 , Hal Ashby's Shampoo to made-for-television documentaries of the early 1980s. Maverick cinematographer Ed Lachman recently said that Haynes created the rhythms of the Dylan's music in the film, using free-associations you're allowed in music and reinterpreting those as film.
This is a film that eschews the easy biopic route, forcing the spectators to use their own intelligence. It is the closest any film can ever hope to get to Dylan's music and his own Chronicles. If someone calls this film pretentious, it is only as pretentious as Dylan himself, in that he always played with peoples expectations and tried something unpredictably new. I'm Not There certainly deserves to be seen more than once and preferably on a very big screen. Don't believe those bad reviewers, they are liars.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the old, weird america 26 May 2008
I'd really just like to say a word or two to those who persist in describing the Richard Gere segment of this film as its weakest point: please go back and listen to The Basement Tapes, pay attention to the sleevenotes, and if you've got the time and intellectual energy, read Greil Marcus's Invisible Republic. You will recognise all the strange characters who populate that eerie place that seems to hover between this world and some other (Marcus's Invisible Republic, or The Old, Weird America), and you will see why Gere's character is so crucial to this kaleidoscopic view of Dylan's art. I found this part of Haynes's admirably ambitious movie to be the most thrilling, and Jim James's otherworldly rendition of Goin' To Acapulco the most stunning piece of music (outside Dylan's own, naturally). Much of Dylan's best work seems always to be just beyond our grasp, which is partly why it is so compelling, but there are gateways to a deeper understanding available to us if we can be bothered to look for them. Like all gateways they can let us in or they can keep us out. Our choice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect this to be a documentary 30 Oct 2011
I expected this film to tell me more about Bob and play a lot more music. The vignettes are stylish and well acted, but tell me very little about Bob, apart from showing him in a poor light. I don't know what's true, exaggerated or just made up. I think true Dylan fans will love this film, recognising all the references etc . But to me, who just has a few albums, it was a little empty, if quite watchable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars food for the eyes 18 May 2012
By Sarah
I'm not a big fan of watching films more than once, I very rarely do it in fact, yet I have watched this film about 100 times. It is visually the most beautiful film I have ever seen. I do think that the more you know about Dylan the more enjoyment you will get out of this film, as it is definitely not a straight biopic and it is fun to pick out the references.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Dylan on Blu-Ray 20 April 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
One of the films of the noughties and easily the best Dylan on dvd or blu-ray. The amazon review says all you need to know but I'll just add that there are some wonderful cover versions in here. Calexico's Goin' to Aculpulco is my highlight. Hanes plays it cool by choosing the less obvious Dylan. Brilliant!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual look at Dylan
I enjoyed some parts of this better than others. It took me a while to see what this film was getting at, and even now am not altogether sure! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Janie in Suffolk
5.0 out of 5 stars Original and compelling
I wasn't sure what to expect from this film and was pleasantly surprised. This is a film that approaches Bob Dylan from different angles rather than head on. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Suroor Alikhan
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and important
Intelligent and multi-layered. A V sign to the Media,Tin Pan Alley and those who consume celebrity. This unusual film is worth watching again and again. Read more
Published 4 months ago by fruit loop
5.0 out of 5 stars dylan mythology
director todd haynes has created a terrific take on the dylan mythology. a must have film for dylan fans. non dylan fans may be left a little bemused by the whole thing. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Graham
1.0 out of 5 stars nothing like i thought
This film is the biggest load of rubbish I have watched,even worse than the Hobbit and that was crap!!! Read more
Published 9 months ago by N A Grimshaw
4.0 out of 5 stars his bobness
decided to purchase this as a dylan fan and a new blu-ray owner and i had aquired a ticket to see his bobness at the london feis at finsbury park so thought it was an apt time to... Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2011 by david stoneley
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan is 6 people least.
Take a look on this website at reviews of Dylan's albums. You'll quickly see a diversity of critical opinion as to what was 'the best Dylan'. Read more
Published on 16 April 2011 by a-to-the-d
1.0 out of 5 stars Extremely silly
Its not the fact this is arty that makes it awful, its just plain stupid with good actors doing impersonations of Dylan, Joan Baez etc. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2011 by megapunkrockness
3.0 out of 5 stars A good effort
If you're looking for Bob Dylan,look elsewhere.Blanchett's performance is the highlight and the rest is somewhat lacking.
Published on 5 Nov 2009 by DigSarahDig
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