Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on 6 February 2013
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.