This is a fun post, a post with some of those moments that makes a “Bob Dylan film” worth watching. There’s no order here, just a listing of the clips I really like.
I have included films that had cinema distribution, not including straight documentaries (yet).
Some of the clips are great concert clips, some are cinematic milestones, some are just funny and some are Bob Dylan in theme and spirit, at least that’s what I think.
And I have included one TV clip, it was just so damn funny, I couldn’t leave it out!
By the way, James Mangold is making a new Bob Dylan film set during the period when he was poised to become folk music’s most important figure. Bob Dylan instead chose rock ‘n’ roll and traded his acoustic guitar for an amp and an electric guitar, it created a huge outcry. Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s longtime manager, is working on Dylan’s behalf with Mangold on the film, which they say has no title yet but has been referred to as Going Electric. We will have to update this post when the film is ready.
Ok, lets start
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story
I was thinking a bit about this one, “maybe I should have included Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder film, but isn’t it a documentary no matter how “dramatised” it is?” As you can see I decided it should be included, it is a documentary, kind of, and it is a made up story, kind of, with worldwide release on Netflix. And Netflix is the new cinema, right?
“I could hear the radio like it was in the same room. I don’t know how to explain it … How can you hear someone’s radio from a mile away, as if it was playing in your own house? So I had to put that into the song – it was a must.”
– Van Morrison
This film should be played loud!
This is a message on a title card at the beginning of the film. The greatest concert movie ever made. This post concerns the movie, the audio releases have to wait for it’s own post.
The Last Waltz was a concert by the rock group The Band, held on American Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1976, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. The Last Waltz was advertised as the end of The Band’s illustrious touring career, and the concert saw The Band joined by more than a dozen special guests, including Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles and Neil Young.
The event was filmed by director Martin Scorsese and made into a documentary of the same name, released in 1978. The film features concert performances, scenes shot on a studio soundstage and interviews by Scorsese with members of The Band. A triple-LP soundtrack recording, produced by Rob Fraboni, was issued in 1978. The film was released on DVD in 2002 as was a four-CD box set of the concert and related studio recordings.
I have several versions of the film, and I’ve seen many versions of it. I’ve seen it at the cinema, I’ve played it to death on video casette, I have two DVD releases , a blu-ray release and I’ve seen/heard quite a bit of bootlegs of the show.
This is a film that I’m really passionate about, and I have often wondered if there’s footage, filmed sequences, that is not in the official version. Whatever condition such film would be in was irrelevant, I wanted to see as much as possible of the legendary concert.