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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faithful to himself, and to the music...
This documentary is really LONG, but it is more than WORTH watching. Why? Because it tells us a lot about Bob Dylan, or at least as much as Dylan himself is prepared to say for now.
“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...
Published on 23 Feb. 2006 by B. Alcat

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GET PENNEBAKER!
The problems with this dvd have nothing to do with the Dylan footage. It has to do with Martin Scorsese's use of the film. If its true that he was handed over all available 1966 footage by Dylan's management in order to assemble this film, then you have to wonder why it doesn't include a great deal more of that splendid material. Perhaps the surviving footage is as...
Published on 6 Feb. 2013 by Stephen Goldsmith


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating film, 17 Oct. 2009
By 
Richard Quinn "richyquinn" (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
I loved every minute of this film. There's so much in it, you can watch it again and again. The footage is brilliant, there are some amazing early performances, and they are cleverly woven with the interviews. It gives a fascinating insight into Dylan's early career. It's great to see interviews with people Dylan mentions in his book Chronicles: Volume One, and see how they remember those years, and also to hear his own account as he looks back on the start of it all. The interviews he gave at the time are often hilarious, he usually ends up interviewing his interviewers, and showing them up for what they are - vultures, hungry to feed off young flesh, with no interest in anything other than their own story. At one point a photographer asks Dylan to suck his glasses for a picture... For a moment you can see him hesitate, wondering if he's going to play the game, and do the act. Then he makes up his mind, offers the photographer his glasses and says, "You wanna suck them? You suck them!" A must for all Dylan fans, and anyone interested in the history of the swinging sixties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scorsese delivers a thoughtful portrait of the `Voice of a generation', 20 Jan. 2012
By 
The Guardian (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
To craft this superb three-and-a-half-hour landmark documentary presented on two separate DVDs, Martin Scorsese reportedly edited down more than 10 hours of source material, so as usual with filmmaking most of the available footage was left on the cutting room floor. The result is a textbook lesson in first-class documentary filmmaking very much in the mould of Scorsese's 1978 release `The Last Waltz' or his excellent film series about the blues.

Scorsese's ambition with `No Direction Home' is to tell the story of Bob Dylan's journey from obscure origins in Hibbing Minnesota to international success in the mid-1960s. In 1966 following injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, he dropped out of the public eye for a few years to re-emerge in 1971 into the second phase of his long and enigmatic career.

The film describes Dylan's time in Greenwich Village NYC in 1961-62 (visiting Woody Guthrie in hospital, playing the folk club circuit and making his first recordings), then uses Dylan's important but at the time controversial UK tour in 1963 as the framework for a revealing montage of concert footage, straight-to-camera interviews with the young Bob and contributions from Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Alan Ginsberg, Al Kooper and others from the period. His embracing of electric instruments and a fuller sound in the teeth of the anger and bewilderment of diehard folk purists is well told, an early character indication of iconoclastic mould-breaking. Dylan is and always has been his own man, does what he wants and answers to no-one; he can come across as hard-as-nails even whilst delivering sentiments of exquisite tenderness.

At the end of the film, do we understand more about the 20th century's most important popular musician/poet, the `voice of a generation', and what makes him tick? Well, a bit. Dylan's legendary taciturn personality and cryptic answers to (sometimes unbelievably crass) interview questions is on full display here, and the film really does reveal something of the young man in all his frustrating don't-try-to-pin-me-down complexity. Now aged 70, he ain't changed that much.

This is an absorbing, interesting film which never drags, despite its length. Martin Scorsese is very, very good at this game. Even if you're not really a Dylan fan, watch the editing and choice of content to see a master filmmaker at his craft and see how it's done. A follow-up film of Dylan's mid-life and later career from 1970 would be something to look forward to, but will we see the result of such a project? Probably not - more's the pity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Bob Dylan fans, 1 Oct. 2010
By 
Mick Nick (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
Prompt delivery from Amazon.I am a fan of Bob Dylan and found this a worthwhile purchase. After reading one or two books about the man, I enjoyed seeing and listening to him on this video.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars GET PENNEBAKER!, 6 Feb. 2013
By 
The problems with this dvd have nothing to do with the Dylan footage. It has to do with Martin Scorsese's use of the film. If its true that he was handed over all available 1966 footage by Dylan's management in order to assemble this film, then you have to wonder why it doesn't include a great deal more of that splendid material. Perhaps the surviving footage is as fractured and short as it is depicted in this film , in which case I apologise in advance to Mr Scorsese for unjustified criticism.
I think that 1966 was Dylan's greatest live work. I cannot think of any other performances that were as brave and timeless. The extant 1966 audio concert recordings demonstrate this. Luckily, on those audio tapes, they aren't interrupted at regular intervals by people warbling on about themselves and Dylan which happens with monotonous regularity on this DVD.
When I first saw this film, I thought that a better title for the Dvd should have been 'The Pete Seeger Show featuring Bob Dylan' or 'Pete Seeger explains where it went wrong for Bob'. There was too much of him, and too much of a lot of other people, banjos and protest as well. This films seems to have been assembled by editing comments made by various talking heads and pasting Dylan concert and interview footage to support or emphasise what has just been said. This came across as an earnest attempt to 'educate' the viewers, or reveal some hidden truth amongst the footage.
A far bigger truth would have been revealed just by showing complete footage of Visions of Johanna or any of the other 1966 performances that were shown in sample sizes in his film.It would have been hugely enjoyable if someone just assembled a collage of all the 1966 footage into a big exhaustive blast of energy.
I hope all the 1966 footage has been preserved with respect because 'No Direction Home' should always have been given to DA Pennebaker to produce. Sadly, because of this enormous folly it is unlikely we'll ever get the opportunity of seeing the great 1966 film that this thrilling music deserves.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous stuff, 28 Sept. 2005
By A Customer
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
My only real grumble: it should have been five times as long! Only minor grumble: the thing's been put together with too much politial/social correctness - doubtless down to the corporate involvement of Starbucks and Apple? No mention of drugs - tho' we catch glimpses of Bob smacking his lips in a tell-tale manner, and he and J Cash are clearly stoned in their bar-room get together... and what happened to the highlight of Bob's acceptance speech for the Tom Payne award back in 1964, when he confessed to having a certain empathy with Lee Harvey Oswald?? Admittedly coming as it did a couple of weeks after Kennedy's assassination the remark went down like a lead zeppelin, but 30 years on?? Still, these are minor carpings - the overall film is a rare gift that I shall watch many times over.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of the artist as a young genius, 18 May 2012
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
Any biopic or biography attempting to capture the entirety of the creation called 'Bob Dylan' is bound to land on its arse. This movie makes no such attempt.

Instead, it's a portrait of how a genius took root, grew, then got his feet out of the growbag - fighting the entire world's wish for him to remain catalogued, potted, and put in the shop window of the folk protest scene.

It could be said that Dylan was the first postmodern popular artist, and his battle has been with the prescriptions of modernism - but that would be too wordy for an amateur review.

However, there is no doubting that this skinny kid had a pair of cojones to match his talent, which this movie does well to display.

(More mundanely, all the extras are bona fide, and the quality of the sound and image has been burnished as nicely as a Telecaster scratch plate).
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT ABOUT DYLAN FROM SCORSESE, 18 Jun. 2011
By 
Ronny Søgård (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
I think I have watched this documentary maybe five or six times. The first view was fantastic. Lots of interesting shots from the period 1961-66. New interview with Dylan, and a lot of the people that were around and knew him in the 60`s. To hear Allen Ginsberg, Joan Baez and Liam Clancy along with others tell stories about Dylan as a person, songwriter and musician is very interesting.

This documentary lasts just over 3 hours. And I enjoyed every minute of it. This is not only a great film for music lovers but also very interesting in a politically point of view. I can really recommend this award-winning film about a genius made by the genius Scorsese!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dylan's Best......, 12 Jan. 2006
By 
Paul (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
From 1962-66 Dylan created some of the greatest music ever recorded. Yet many people still regard him as a 'protest' or 'political' singer, when in fact he is a master storyteller and poet in the grandest traditions. 'No Direction Home' does a wonderful job revealing how a young, innocent and hugely impressionable Dylan came to be appropriated by the growing socio-political youth movement in the early sixties and Dylan's own subsequent escape from the shackles the 'folk' and 'leftist' stereotypes imposed on him through the growing maturity and electricity (both literally and figuratively) of his music. In doing so Martin Scorsese perhaps unwittingly also reveals the huge vanity and convoluted ego of modern popstars with their psuedo psycho babble about everything under the sun. When Dylan is asked hidden meanings in his songs he seems genuinely surprised and taken aback. He is a songwriter and storyteller, nothing more. It is his audience that creates the meaning to his songs, not Dylan himself.
The movie climaxes at the Albert Hall concert of 1966 and the truly earth and ear shattering rendition of 'Like a Rolling Stone' that is familiar to any Dylan junkie. By that time you cannot help but cheer for Bob as he slips the middle finger to all those who tried to control, stereotype and put down this unique and hugely gifted young man (it's hard to believe he had only just turned 25 when the concert took place).
A magnificent document of musical history, recommended to any fans of Dylan and 20th century popular music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A friend of mine is a Dylon Fan, 22 April 2014
By 
Dh Walker "David H. Walker" (Gloucester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
In conversation with a friend, an MS sufferer, who has little movement but a lively brain, I have
been enabled to learn his hopes, concerns, and even fears through knowing how his
obsession with Dylan has helped him survive the ups and downs in his life -
and be concerned for others.
Both "Lyrics" and "No Direction Home" DVD helped greatly .
I became an admirer of Dylan too.
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, but a sleight of hand, 9 Nov. 2006
By 
Sverdlov "Jokerman" (Cromer, Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] (DVD)
Undoubtedly a rivetting watch, but when pondered later then some doubts creep in. Scorsese is a great film-maker, a weaver of stories and impressions. I'm not sure about his capacity as a documentary-maker. Does he get to the heart of Dylan in these seminal years? Does he confront - and take a view on - the contentious issues surrounding Dylan in these years? In many ways he sidesteps them. Instead, he focuses on the musical millieu in which Dylan lived, but by over-emphasising influences, he downplays Dylan's own creative genius. Am I the only one who thinks there was far too much Liam Clancy in part 1, and far too little original Dylan? I share the point made by another reviewer that it would have been good to have got complete performances. I was hoping Scorsese might have unearthed some remnant of Dylan's first BBC appearance, in the play 'Madhouse on Castle Street'. There was instead far too much of some pretty annoying performers, especially in part one. The piece avoided taking sides on the issues raised by early biographies like Scaduto's - the accusations of people at the time that the young Dylan was pretty ruthless, and that the protest phase was a piece of cynical careerism. I don't agree with that view - but it would have been good to have had it refuted. Actually, we got very little on Dylan the person - OK, I don't want an expose of sordid tittle-tattle, but it's remarkable that Sara Dylan never got a mention. Of course, one might argue that it was all about the music; but if that's the case, it seemed to be obsessed with the 1966 live material lifted from Eat the Document and its out-takes - as I recall it, there was not a single mention of Blonde on Blonde. This is an amazing omission, given that it appears on everyone's lists in the top five of greatest ever rock albums. Yet it's not mentioned!!
The comments by Dylan were wonderful to hear - when have we ever seen him so relaxed and apparently straight in his comments? A suitable follow-up to the incredible Chronicles vol 1. But even then ... Dylan was interviewed by Jeff Rosen, from his entourage and very much a protector of the 'image', not by Scorsese, and again some of the key questions don't get answered.
Overall, extremely watchable, but frustrating in parts. Good to hear from the late Allen Ginsberg: a little more from Joan Baez, Bobby Neuwirth, surviving members of the Band, a little less from Liam Clancy, would have made it even better. And how about complete footage of those 1966 gigs (and how about the 1965 BBC-TV show. Did they wipe it????)
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No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD]
No Direction Home [Bob Dylan] [DVD] by Martin Scorsese (DVD - 2005)
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