June 26, 2011

Impostor syndrome

I’m Not There footnote: Hayden Christensen’s unnamed – for legal reasons – Bob Dylan in the dreary and strangely truncated Edie Sedgwick biopic Factory Girl runs like a failed audition for the Dylan variation played by Heath Ledger in the Todd Haynes film. Ledger’s Dylan – Robbie Clark, the Dylan of the divorce years - was distinguished by his machismo (key prop: motorcycle), as is Christensen’s “folk singer”. In Factory Girl, that machismo, as authenticity, is set clumsily against the feyness and artificiality of the Warhol scene, but Cate Blanchett’s speed-freak Dylan in I’m Not There – where Edie appears (suitably) briefly as “CoCo Rivington” -- would have fit right in. Which only goes to show that Haynes mastered the Dylan contradictions that have defeated others. (I talked about I'm Not There here -- and I liked it more on a second viewing.)